Poll: Boozman still far ahead of Eldridge in Senate contest

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 68 views 

Incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman maintains a significant lead over his Democratic challenger Conner Eldridge roughly six weeks before Election Day.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows that Boozman has slightly grown his already large lead over Eldridge from June. The latest poll, conducted among 831 likely Arkansas voters on September 15-17, 2016, has a margin of error of 3.4%.

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate were today, which candidate would you support?

55%  Republican Senator John Boozman
29%  Democrat Conner Eldridge
5%  Libertarian Frank Gilbert
2.5%  Other
8.5%  Undecided

In late June, Boozman led Eldridge 51-29% with Libertarian Frank Gilbert pulling 6% and 14% of voters undecided.

More survey results will be released over the next several days related to several ballot proposals.

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

With the clock ticking towards election day, all signs are that the U.S. Senate race in Arkansas is on its way to being a comfortable win for incumbent Republican Senator John Boozman. The lack of major investment on the airwaves by Democratic challenger Conner Eldridge or by any national Democratic allies has meant that Eldridge’s name recognition remains low. Combined with the challenges of his party’s presidential standard bearer in the state that has produced no benefits to the Democrat, the U.S. Senate race has remained lowkey—to the challenger’s detriment. While Eldridge trails badly, there are some signs that Libertarian Frank Gilbert may make a decent showing by the standards of a third party in the state; he is polling at 5% at this point.

Despite his low-profile term in office, Boozman leads with men and women, with all age groups, and in all of the state’s Congressional Districts. Eldridge has more than 70% of the state’s Democratic voters, but he has managed no crossover appeal and is losing independents 57% to 21%. Eldridge is also significantly underperforming with African-Americans in the state.

If the former federal prosecutor is even to exceed expectations by making the race closer, he has to make a quick move with early voting beginning in a month.

METHODOLOGY
This survey was conducted on September 15-17, 2016. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-3.4%, was completed using IVR survey technology among 831 Arkansas likely voters statewide.

All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College.

For interviews, contact Talk Business & Politics Roby Brock by email at roby@talkbusiness.net or Dr. Jay Barth by email at barth@hendrix.edu.

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