President Trump approval at 86% among Arkansas Republicans

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 1,844 views 

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating among Arkansas Republicans is unquestionably positive as 86% of the state’s GOP primary voters expressed a thumbs up for the nation’s chief executive.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey of 676 likely GOP primary voters found that nearly nine out of ten Republicans like the job the president is doing.

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Donald Trump is doing?

86% Approve
10% Disapprove
4% Don’t know

“While this poll does not consider Independents or Democrats, there’s no doubt that Republican voters in Arkansas overwhelmingly support President Trump’s job performance,” said Roby Brock, Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief. “If anyone is wondering why Republican officeholders are hesitant to criticize the president at times, these numbers are a pretty good indicator of why.”

The latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll was conducted on April 17-19 and has a margin of error of +/-3.8%. Results released yesterday show Gov. Asa Hutchinson with a lead over his GOP challenger Jan Morgan. On Tuesday, a battery of questions regarding taxes, guns and abortion will be released.

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

Despite the divisions in the party shown in the 2018 gubernatorial primary, Arkansas’s Republican voters are unified in their support for President Donald J. Trump. Among only a handful of subgroups of voters does Trump’s support drop below 80% job approval.

Trump’s support is marginally lower among younger voters, among those who do not attend church on at least a weekly basis, among Second Congressional District (central Arkansas) voters, and among those voters with the lowest education levels (high school graduates or below). This last finding is interesting because of Trump’s tremendous support among less-educated white voters nationally. That said, we will need to watch future polling to determine if this is a trend or an aberration. The Second District finding (Trump is at 81% with GOP voters in the district) is also noteworthy in that the most competitive congressional race at this point is in that district.

Also interesting is the absence of a gender gap in terms of evaluations of President Trump. Both men and women in our sample had nearly identical levels of support for the President, contrary to some national numbers showing more wariness about the President among women, including Republican women.

Unquestionably, Donald Trump has some public opinion challenges on the path towards the midterm elections that will have much to say about the fate of his Presidency and his policy agenda, but that problem is not with the majority party in Arkansas.

Robert Coon is a partner with Impact Management Group, a government relations and communications firm that works with GOP and independent candidates. Coon is also a Talk Business & Politics contributor. He offered this analysis:

Republican primary voters in Arkansas give President Donald Trump extremely high marks, with 86% approving of his job performance to date. Trump’s approval is consistent among both men and women and highest among voters who attend church services weekly (88.8%). Trump’s approval dips slightly among voters 30-44 years old (76.5%) and those that did not complete high school (78.6%).

The most interesting data point in the Trump approval numbers surfaces in the geographic breakdown. While Trump receives greater than 80% approval in the 2nd and 3rd Congressional districts, Republicans in the 1st and 4th Congressional districts approve of him by even higher margins – 96.6% and 91.3% respectively. Those higher Trump approval ratings correlate with a closer head-to-head matchup between Governor Asa Hutchinson and Jan Morgan in the Governor’s race in those districts. While not likely to affect the outcome of the Governor’s race, the presence of a measurable Trumpian/anti-establishment element among base Republicans in CD 1 and CD 4 could have an impact in down ballot races.

METHODOLOGY
This survey of 676 Republican voters was conducted on Tuesday-Thursday, April 17-19, 2018. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-3.8%, was completed using IVR survey technology. Respondents were chosen from a random sample of Arkansas GOP primary voters who voted in at least two of the last three primary elections and who indicated their likelihood to vote this year. Age was weighted.

Age (weighted)
6% Under the age of 30
17.5% Between the ages of 30 and 44
37% Between the ages of 45 and 64
39.5% 65 or older

Ethnicity
1% Asian-American
3% African-American
1% Latino
88% Caucasian or White
7% Other

Gender
45% Male
55% Female

Church Attendance
69% At Least Weekly
24% Occasionally
7% Never

Education
4% Did not complete high school
22% High School Graduate
32% Some College
25% Graduated College
17% Post-Grad Degree

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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