An internal poll conducted by the GOP polling firm On Message shows Republican Fourth Congressional District candidate Rep. Bruce Westerman enjoying a comfortable 18-point lead over Democratic nominee former FEMA director James Lee Witt.

The poll was conducted between July 29 and 31 among 400 likely voters with a margin of error of +/-4.9%.  The top line results show…

Bruce Westerman (GOP) – 47%
James Lee Witt (Dem) – 29%
Ken Hamilton (Lib) – 7%
Undecided – 18%

These numbers are similar to the only other public poll conducted in the Fourth District. In July, Talk Business/Hendrix College found 48% preferring Westerman to 34% for James Lee Witt.

The pollster – Wes Anderson – also makes some interesting observations based on the results of the Republicans’ strength on the generic ballot and in voter intensity.

To begin, Republicans currently hold a significant 16-point advantage on the generic ballot for Congress with 48% choosing the generic Republican while less than one-third (32%) choose the generic Democrat.

From a partisan perspective, Republicans hold a significant intensity gap as 86% of Republicans say they would vote for the Republican candidate compared to only 65% of Democrats choosing the generic Democrat.

Point being, 3 months out, the Democrat base is still fairly depressed while the GOP base is red hot.

And, with President Obama’s approval rating badly upside-down (31-68), not to mention his healthcare law that’s opposed by nearly two-thirds of voters (64%), there’s little evidence that that will change any time soon.

This is bad news for Democrats up and down the ballot.  The Fourth District poll also tested the U.S. Senate race and the Governor’s race and found both Republican candidates leading. The incumbent Republican Congressman held a strong 10-point lead in his home district with 49% preferring Cotton to 39% for Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

The former Democratic Congressman Mike Ross, however, trailed in his old home district – although it should be noted the lines have changed somewhat due to redistricting in 2010.  Nevertheless, Republican Asa Hutchinson had 46% support to Ross’ 43%.

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Jason Tolbert
Jason Tolbert is the moderator for his opinion blog, The Tolbert Report. He can be reached by e-mail at Jason@TolbertReport.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TolbertReport.