Phone survey asks about Halter U.S. Senate candidacy

by Steve Brawner ([email protected]) 270 views 

An automated telephone survey conducted Thursday (Nov. 5) asked if respondents would support former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter over incumbent U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., in the 2016 U.S. Senate race.

Halter is a Democrat.

The survey asked if voters would support Boozman if they knew that he had voted for tax breaks for the politically conservative Charles and David Koch brothers, or that he voted for the Wall Street bailout that didn’t punish bankers who “wrecked our economy,” or that he had accepted donations from pharmaceutical companies while, the survey said, voting to cut Medicare.

The survey also asked if voters would be more willing to support Halter if they knew he had led in the creation of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery as lieutenant governor or if they knew he had been chief operating officer of the Social Security Administration. It also asked how voters would feel about Halter if they knew he had supported Obamacare.

The survey comes the day after the latest Arkansas Poll sponsored by the University of Arkansas’ Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society found that Boozman has a job approval-disapproval rating of 38-18%, while 44% didn’t have an opinion or refused to answer the question. CNN.com ran a story Thursday saying Republicans are worried about his campaign, which raised less money in the last quarter than the only announced Democratic candidate, former U.S. attorney Conner Eldridge. 

Eldridge on Thursday was endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“John Boozman remains relatively unknown in Arkansas despite more than a decade in Washington. Boozman consistently votes with his party over Arkansas, and the right candidate can make this a competitive race,” according to a DSCC note on the race. “Conner Eldridge recently announced his plans to run for the seat. Born and raised in Arkansas, Eldridge is an energetic and promising candidate who has previously served as U.S. Attorney in Arkansas.”

Halter was elected lieutenant governor in 2006 and served one term. He ran for U.S. Senate against incumbent U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in a nasty 2010 primary. He lost to Lincoln in a runoff. He entered the governor’s race in 2013 but dropped out July 29 of that year, saying he wanted to avoid a divisive primary. 

Halter has not responded to a request for comment. The Eldridge campaign also has not responded to a request for comment. Boozman campaign manager Chris Caldwell said he would not “speculate on the Democratic primary.”

Talk Business & Politics will update this story when or if Halter or the Eldridge campaign responds.