The 2013 annual Arkansas Poll, conducted by the University of Arkansas, shows very tight U.S. Senate and Arkansas Governor’s races, similar to Talk Business-Hendrix College polling conducted earlier this month.

The Arkansas Poll indicated that if the election were held today, 34% of voters would support Sen. Mark Pryor (D), 32% would support Cong. Tom Cotton (R ), and 34% remain undecided.

In the Arkansas Governor’s race, the poll found that 32% supported Asa Hutchinson (R ) compared to 30% likely to vote for Mike Ross (D). Roughly 38% remain undecided.

A mid-October poll conducted by Talk Business and Hendrix College found similar margins between the candidates in the Senate and Governor’s races.

The poll also found that 37% of Arkansans blamed President Obama and Democrats for the recent federal government shutdown, while 26% blamed Republicans in Congress and 37% blamed both parties. Those results also mirrored the Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll.

Another trend in the poll that mirrored recent Talk Business-Hendrix College results centered on the percentages of voters identifying themselves by political party or as independents.

The Arkansas Poll showed 37% self-identified as Independents with 30% saying they were Democrats and 24% declaring a Republican affiliation. The Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll showed 36% identified as Independents, while 31% said they were Democrats and 25% said they were Republicans.

In the Arkansas Poll, independent voters were asked a follow-up question which indicated 43% of independents felt “closer to Republican.” Roughy 21% said they felt “closer to Democrat” and 31% said they were “just independent.”

Other issues from the Arkansas Poll included:

  • 63% feel Arkansas is generally headed in the right direction, while 20% say is is headed in the wrong direction
  • 58% say they are financially about the same as one year ago.
  • 47% think they will be about the same financially one year from now.
  • 89% were aware of the Affordable Care Act requiring citizens to have health insurance or pay a fine.
  • 88% said they had health insurance.

“It’s impossible to say for certain what has caused such pessimism among Arkansans,” poll director Janine Parry said. “Given there’s really nothing dramatically different from last year in the broader environment, the recent federal government shutdown seems like the obvious culprit.”

The Arkansas Poll was conducted between Oct. 10 and Oct. 17 among 800 telephone respondents. Twenty percent were cell phone users. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.5%.

You can access the full poll results here.

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