Obama Holding Democrats, But Failing With Independent Voters

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 552 views 

Barack Obama’s Presidential approval rating in Arkansas has barely budged since last fall.

In our latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll, conducted Monday night, March 26, 2012 among 759 likely state voters, President Obama’s job approval rating held steady from last September at 32%. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.6%.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job that President Barack Obama is doing?

32%       Approve
63.5%   Disapprove
4.5%      Don’t Know

In earlier polling conducted in September 2011, Obama’s job performance among likely Arkansas voters was 31.5%, statistically unchanged from the latest survey.

While the President is doing respectably among his Democratic base, he predictably scores poorly among Republican voters, but self-described Independent voters also give Obama poor marks by more than a 3-to-1 margin.

Among Democratic voters, 72% approve of Obama’s job performance. 74% of Independent voters disapprove of the President’s job, while 93% of Republicans disapprove.

“In the Obama era, Arkansans who identify as Independents act a whole lot like Republicans in their vote in national elections,” said Dr. Jay Barth, with the Hendrix College Department of Politics and International Relations, who helped craft and analyze the polls.

The Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll also tested how the current Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney would fare against Obama in a fall match-up. Romney would easily defeat the incumbent Democrat if the election were today, but a small percentage of those who disapprove of Obama may seek an alternative to the potential GOP nominee.

If the 2012 presidential election were held today and your choices were Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, for whom would you vote?

56.5%     Mitt Romney
33%        Barack Obama
10.5%     Don’t Know

“Some have noted that Mitt Romney seems out of touch with Arkansas voters—and he’s certainly had troubles during the primary season in states like Arkansas,” Barth said. “However, all signs from this data suggest that once he becomes the nominee, Romney will have little difficulty coalescing the voters of the vast majority of Arkansans who disapprove of Obama as President. While President Obama has the support of an overwhelming majority of Democrats, it is notable that even one-fifth of Arkansas Democrats would support Romney’s candidacy.”

The Talk Business-Hendrix College latest survey also asked questions involving Gov. Mike Beebe’s job approval, the Arkansas Legislature’s job performance, and three certain or potential ballot issues related to a sales tax hike for roads, raising the severance tax and a legislative ethics proposal.

During the next several days, we will roll out those results as well as the full poll at TalkBusiness.net.

The poll was conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Monday, March 26, 2012. The poll was completed using IVR survey technology among registered Arkansas voters who have voted in at least 2 of the last 4 general elections.

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].