Thursday’s Talk Business & Politics Daily centers on the big stories of the day – the Arkansas Supreme Court actions on several ballot initiatives. Watch the video below for a full rundown. Also, TB&P’s Michael Tilley highlights the economic news out of Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas in the latest Compass Report.
Finally, TB&P contributors Jessica Deloach Sabin and John Burris tackle an interesting development in recent Arkansas polling data. In the latest TBP-Hendrix survey of voters, 43% self-identified as Republicans – the highest number ever in our surveys. About 34% identified as Democrats and 20% as Independents.
Traditionally, party identifiers mirror a nearly one-third segment for each. Does this shift signal a move that Independent voters – who have been voting largely for the GOP for the last 6 years – have become full-blown Republicans?
Jessica Sabin: I think they’ve been declaring it in the past several elections because a lot of independents, in Arkansas at least, do seem to lean toward the right a lot more than what you would see maybe other independent groups in, you know, a bit more progressive states.
Roby Brock: Yes, 3-to-1, 4-to-1, we’ve seen them [Indies] supporting Republican candidates.
Jessica Sabin: Right. They’ve basically been an extension of the Republican Party here in Arkansas. And I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon… There are several reasons for that. You just have to look at what the hot button issues are. I don’t think it’s mystifying at all, in fact I expect it.
John Burris: I agree with with what Jessica said and the reality is it’s not going to always be this good for Republicans. But the era of Obama is not going to end when he’s gone. I mean there’s going to be residual effects for years and probably multiple election cycles and that’s why you really haven’t even seen the peak of, or at least last election cycle we had not even seen the peak of, the transition over to the Republican Party. This poll shows that’s it’s continuing and I think it will probably continue even more so once Hillary is elected.
Roby Brock: You are assuming Hillary Clinton is going to be elected. I think you’ve come to that conclusion.
John Burris: I think it’s the best thing for Republicans in Arkansas, even if not for the country.
Watch the full conversation in the video below.