Notes from the Campaign Trail: PBS debate week begins

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 272 views 

This week, Arkansas PBS will host several Congressional debates and a Senate forum.

The schedule for the taping and airing of Congressional debates begins on Monday afternoon when incumbent U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, takes on State Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, in their only head-to-head forum. The schedule is listed below.

U.S. Congressional District 2 – Joyce Elliott (D) and incumbent French Hill (R).
U.S. Congressional District 3 – Michael Kalagias (L), Celeste Williams (D) and incumbent Steve Womack (R).
U.S. Congressional District 4 – Frank Gilbert (L), William Hanson (D) and incumbent Bruce Westerman (R).
U.S. Senate – Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (L). At this time, incumbent Tom Cotton (R) is not scheduled to appear.
The debates will livestream and air at the following times:

Monday, Oct. 12, U.S. Congressional District 2 livestreaming at 2 p.m. and airing at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 13, U.S. Congressional District 4 livestreaming at 10 a.m. and airing at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 13, U.S. Congressional District 3 livestreaming at 3:30 p.m. and airing at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 14, U.S. Senate livestreaming at 3 p.m. and airing at 7 p.m.

Talk Business & Politics will provide daily wrap-ups of each day’s forums.

HILL & ELLIOTT FORUMS
In addition to their Arkansas PBS debate on Monday, Hill and Elliott are set to speak to the Delta Grassroots Caucus, a consortium of central and eastern Arkansas business and political leaders. The event will be on Wednesday, Oct. 13 and will be held virtually.

Elliott speaks to the Delta group from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., while Hill follows shortly from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. While the questions are likely to center on issues important to the Delta region, we suspect there will be an occasional airing of grievances in the wake of the Monday debate.

Also of note, Elliott will appear solo with KATV Ch. 7 and Talk Business & Politics next Monday, Oct. 19 in a one hour forum from 7-8 p.m. answering questions from reporters and viewers. The program was originally offered as a debate between the two candidates, but Hill declined to participate.

HARRINGTON POLL SHOWS COMPETITIVE RACE
Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Ricky Harrington, the only challenger to incumbent U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton this year, released an internal poll over the weekend.

Harrington’s poll, conducted by American Research Group, showed Cotton at 49% to Harrington’s 38% among 600 likely voters. About 13% were undecided for whom they would vote in the race.

“We are hopeful for an ‘October Surprise’ as more people are introduced to Mr. Harrington’s campaign in these last few weeks. The uncertainty in this race, coupled with the results of this poll, provide us a vision for a path to victory. We will work hard to court these undecided voters, and maybe even take some from Senator Cotton in the process. No one expected us to be here,” said Harrington press secretary Andy Howington.

Other findings from the internal poll include Cotton’s favorable to unfavorable rating at 38-37%, while the economy (18%) and health care (15%) were the two biggest identifiable issues for voters.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS & ISSUES
A few other notes to keep an eye on this week:

  • In conjunction with Hendrix College and KATV, Talk Business & Politics will release new poll numbers by the weekend in the 2nd Congressional District race.
  • Also, new poll numbers will be released on statewide races, including the three ballot issues.
  • If you want more information on Issues 1, 2 and 3, here’s a great interview and primer for those seeking more from our weekend interview with Kristin Higgins of the Public Policy Center at the UA Cooperative Extension Service.
  • Be on the lookout for fundraising numbers from political candidates at all levels. The 15th is filing deadline for candidate campaign contribution and expense reports.
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