Griffin Holds Lead In LG Race; Big Undecideds In Treasurer, Auditor Races

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 200 views 

Cong. Tim Griffin holds a decisive lead over his two Republican rivals for Lt. Governor, but GOP voters are far from decided on the down-ballot contests for State Treasurer and State Auditor.

In the latest Talk Business-Hendrix College survey of 1,516 likely Republican voters, respondents were asked their opinions on choices for Lt. Governor, Auditor of State, and Treasurer of State.

Q. There are three Republican candidates for Lt. Governor: Representative Debra Hobbs, Representative Andy Mayberry and Congressman Tim Griffin. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?

6%  Debra Hobbs
14.5%  Andy Mayberry
53.5%  Tim Griffin
26%  Don’t Know

Q. There are two Republican candidates for Auditor of State: Representative Andrea Lea and Ken Yang. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?

32%    Andrea Lea
12.5%  Ken Yang
55.5%  Don’t Know

Q. Representative Duncan Baird and Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan are the two Republican candidates for State Treasurer. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?

10%  Duncan Baird
15.5%  Dennis Milligan
75.5% Don’t Know

“Tim Griffin has a reasonable chance to win the Lt. Governor’s primary without a run-off, which is testament to his strong name ID as an incumbent Congressman,” said Talk Business & Politics editor-in-chief Roby Brock. “With early voting just underway, the outcomes of the Auditor and Treasurer races are far from settled.”

Griffin launched his first TV ad of the primary season on Tuesday (May 6).

The winner of the Lt. Governor’s primary faces Democrat John Burkhalter and Libertarian Chris Olson in November.  The winner of the Treasurer’s primary will be challenged by Democrat Karen Garcia and Libertarian Chris Hayes in the general election, and the Auditor’s GOP primary winner will face Democrat Regina Stewart Hampton and Libertarian Brian Leach in the fall.

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

Lt. Governor
With significant advantage over his opponents in name recognition, retiring Second District Congressman Tim Griffin also appears in solid shape in his race for Lieutenant Governor gaining the support of a slight majority of GOP voters; his two State Representative opponents -— Andy Mayberry and Debra Hobbs —- trail badly. About one-fourth of likely primary voters remain undecided in that race, creating some instability in the race, but Griffin appears to be a solid bet for a victory without a runoff. While Griffin runs solidly across the state, he is particularly strong in his home Second District where he gains the votes of 65% of probable voters.

State Treasurer
Much like the Attorney General’s race, the race for the GOP state Treasurer nomination remains very much in flux. Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan has a slight lead on State Rep. Duncan Baird (15%-10%), but just at 3 in 4 primary voters remain unclear on their choice in the race.

Interestingly, some ideological factionalism is showing itself in the race as Baird leads among supporters of the private option (17%-13%) while Milligan leads with opponents of the plan (19%-11%). Baird was involved in creating the innovative program.

Auditor of State
Here, State Rep. Andrea Lea does have a lead on Ken Yang (32%-12%). Lea’s lead is shown across all key voting groups.  Despite her support for the private option, Lea has similar leads with both supporters and opponents of the law. While many voters remain unclear on their choice in the race, Lea must be considered a significant favorite going into the May 20th primary.

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 Editor-in-chief Roby Brock by email at [email protected] or Dr. Jay Barth by email at [email protected].