Petrino firing still popular in Arkansas, but waning

by The City Wire staff (info@thecitywire.com) 8 views 

Last April, less than two weeks after the University of Arkansas decided to terminate Razorback football coach Bobby Petrino, Talk Business added a question in a poll of Fourth District GOP voters about the decision to dismiss the coach who lied about an affair with a staffer after details of a motorcycle accident were made public.

At the time, 84% said they agreed with the decision to dismiss Petrino, while 6% disagreed and 10% had no opinion.

Nearly one month into a football season full of deflated expectations and a restless fan base, opinions regarding the termination decision still run strong, but they have certainly waned.

In a new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll of 2,228 statewide voters, 61% still believe Petrino should have been fired. Roughly 17% say he shouldn’t have been fired, nearly triple the number opposed to his firing in April. The number of undecided Arkansans on the subject has also more than doubled to 22%.

• Should former Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino have been fired?
61%     Yes
17%     No
22%    Don’t know

Interestingly, the Third Congressional District was most supportive of his firing in this latest round of polling with 67.5% still saying it was the right decision. Of Second District voters, 64% agreed, while 59% of Fourth District voters and only 51% of First District voters supported the decision.

“Without a doubt, there are still overwhelmingly supportive opinions on this subject, but time, or losing football games, appear to have shifted sentiments to a noticeable degree,” said Talk Business executive editor Roby Brock.

The statewide poll is an aggregate of four separate Congressional District polls conducted by Talk Business and Hendrix College on Monday (Sept. 17). Results from those polls will be released next week.

POLL METHODOLOGY
The four separate Congressional level polls were conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. The aggregate statewide poll, which has a margin of error of +/-2%, was completed using IVR survey technology among a total of 2,228 likely Arkansas voters.

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