GOP Attorney General Primary Wide-open Race

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 245 views 

With early voting set to start on Monday, May 5, Republican voters have not yet coalesced around a particular candidate for their Attorney General nomination.

A new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll of 1,516 likely Republican primary voters indicates that “Undecided” is still the biggest draw on the ballot.

Q. Three candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for Attorney General: Leslie Rutledge, Patricia Nation, and David Sterling. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?

9%    Leslie Rutledge
10%  Patricia Nation
21%  David Sterling
60% Don’t Know

The winner of the Republican primary faces Democrat Nate Steel and Libertarian Aaron Cash in the general election.

The poll, which was conducted Tuesday, April 29, 2014, has a margin of error of +/- 2.5%. It is part of a comprehensive survey of likely GOP voters in the May 20th primary, and the Attorney General’s race is the first of several results planned for release in the next few days.  More results will be revealed on “Talk Business & Politics,” which airs Sundays at 9am on KATV, Channel 7.

The Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll will also analyze races for Governor, Lt. Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, Congressional District 2, and Congressional District 4.

“Our sample includes voters who have voted in Republican primaries in recent cycles and they had to indicate they would be voting in this year’s GOP primary to complete the survey,” said Talk Business & Politics editor-in-chief Roby Brock.

“The results from the Attorney General question suggest to me that this race is headed for a run-off with no candidate anywhere near 50%,” Brock said.

Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, helped craft and analyze the latest poll. He offered the following analysis:

Attorney General GOP Primary
While David Sterling shows a lead gaining the votes of a bit over one in five likely Republican voters, the race for the GOP nomination for Attorney General remains very much up in the air. Despite the high profile nature of the office historically, a majority of likely voters in the May 20th primary still don’t know whom they plan to support in the race.

Two other candidates, Patricia Nation and Leslie Rutledge, trail with 10 and 9 percent respectively. Importantly, only television ads supporting Sterling were up at the time of the polling, raising additional uncertainty about where the primary might end up.

In examining the cross tabs in the race, no major patterns show themselves; Sterling leads among all groups, indicating name recognition is driving the lead that he has in the primary contest.

This survey was conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-2.5%, was completed using IVR survey technology among 1,516 Arkansas voters in all four Congressional Districts. Voters had to have a history of voting in Republican primaries and they had to indicate their preference to vote in this year’s GOP primary to participate in the poll.

There were no cell phones used in this survey as it was not determined to largely impact the results collected from the initial IVR sample. The survey is weighted for gender and Congressional District based on an average of 2010 and 2012 voter turnout patterns.

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, contact Talk Business & Politics executive editor Roby Brock by email at [email protected] or Dr. Jay Barth by email at [email protected].