Talk Business-hendrix College Poll: Congressional Approval Numbers

by Talk Business ([email protected]) 164 views 

Talk Business and Hendrix College continue our partnership to provide you with timely polling data related to Arkansas politics.

"In our post-Labor Day, pre-2012 round of polling, we set a baseline for what will be some of the high-profile races next year: Congress and President. We’ll also be rolling out a variety of other questions related to the state legislature, party identification, the Tea Party movement and the West Memphis 3 plea over the course of this coming week," said Talk Business & Politics executive editor Roby Brock.

Here’s the tentative schedule:

Sunday/Monday – Congressional job approval
Tuesday – Presidential job approval; Obama vs. Perry/Romney
Wednesday – Tea Party, state legislature
Thursday – West Memphis 3; full poll results


On Thursday night, September 15, we conducted four polls – one in each of the newly constructed Congressional districts to set a baseline for next year’s campaigns. Those polls make up our Congressional job approval questions for the state’s four current congressmen. Here are the first round of results (with notes on samples, weighting at bottom of post):

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Cong. Rick Crawford is doing?

35% Approve
23% Disapprove
42% Don’t Know

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Cong. Tim Griffin is doing?

40% Approve
35.5% Disapprove
24.5% Don’t Know

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Cong. Steve Womack is doing?

44% Approve
29% Disapprove
27% Don’t Know

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Cong. Mike Ross is doing?

43% Approve
29% Disapprove
28% Don’t Know

Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, noted that Womack is in an extremely safe position, especially with the Republican tilt of the Third Congressional District. Barth also suggests that even though Ross may not be running for re-election in 2012, he could be a factor for the Democratic candidate in the Fourth Congressional District owing to his popularity among Democrats, Independents and cross-over Republicans.

"Whoever the Democratic nominee is in that Fourth District race next year is probably going to be served pretty well by running as a Mike Ross Democrat," said Barth, who also sees the Fourth District as "very winnable" for Republicans.

In the Second District, Barth sees some vulnerability for the high-profile Griffin, whom he describes as "polarizing" when one looks at how self-identified party-line voters respond to Griffin’s job performance.

"Republicans love Congressman Griffin – he has about 70% support among Republicans, but among Democrats, it’s 60% opposition and only about 15% support," Barth said.

In the First District, Crawford’s primary vulnerability lies in the fact that he is still an unknown quantity with 42% neither approving nor disapproving of his job performance.

"Crawford is decently popular among those voters who know who he is, but three factors create a situation where people just don’t know him," Barth said. He cited Crawford’s low-profile, the unusual media market of the First District, and new parts of the district added due to Congressional redistricting.

You can view Barth’s full comments on these Congressional job approval numbers in the interview below.


All four polls were conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Thursday, September 15, 2011. The polls were completed using IVR survey technology among registered Arkansas voters in each Congressional District.  This link provides additional demographic information related to each of the four polls conducted.

The Congressional District breakdowns and margins of error are as follows:
CD1 – 495 respondents; margin of error +/-4.4%
CD2 – 592 respondents; margin of error +/-4%
CD3 – 595 respondents; margin of error +/-4%
CD4 – 419 respondents; margin of error +/-4.8%

All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business and Hendrix College.

For interviews, Brock can be reached by email at [email protected]. Barth can be contacted at [email protected].