The current state of affairs is not looking good for Donald Trump. As it turns out, Americans do not like a president to roll over peaceful protesters with the military firing tear gas, pepper balls, and flashbang grenades at them. Then, when George Floyd called out for his mama as he lay dying at a policeman’s knee, millions of American mamas heard his cry.
A new poll by Polling USA showed how far the president’s numbers had crashed, even into the red states. At the same time, former Vice President Joe Biden has begun to make inroads deeply into the very red Arkansas:
‘Polling USA @USA_Polling #Arkansas Presidential Polling: Trump (R): 47% (-14) Biden (D): 45% (+11) Hendrix College / June 10, 2020 / n=869 / Online (% chg with 2016 Party Vote)’
POTUS and his ever-loyal ultra-conservative U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) both have slid badly downhill. With less than five months to go, Trump can do a lot of damage. The question is, can he improve in the eyes of Independent Arkansas voters?
A new poll from Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College indicated that they both have a negative job approval rating among Independents in the double-digit margin. A full 46 percent disapproved of the job Trump has been doing, 50 percent disapprove, and only four percent were unsure.
The poll then asked whether they approved or disapproved of Senator Cotton. There was a 44 percent approval rating, 47 percent disapproval rating, and nine percent were unsure.
It got worse, when the question was directed to only Independent voters in Arkansas, 39 percent approved and 54 percent disapproval rating of Trump. For Cotton, there was a 39 percent to 51 percent margin.
Governor Asa Hutchinson was doing well based upon his leadership style and outreach, according to Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock:
‘Between a pandemic, high unemployment, racial strife and civic unrest, Trump and Cotton appear to be bearing the brunt of voter angst, whereas Gov. Hutchinson is benefiting from his visibility and leadership style.’
In a November poll, Trump had 50 percent approval, 45 percent approval rating. Cotton had 45 percent to 30 percent. Cotton will have to face off against Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington, Jr. and Independent Daniel Whitfield, who has been trying to qualify for the ballot.
If the presidential election was held today, 47 percent of Arkansas voters would support Trump, 45 percent went for Joe Biden, and five percent wanted a different candidate. Yet, only three percent were unsure.
This was a big change from the 2016 election. Trump took the state with 60 percent of the voters. However, this time Independent voters chose Biden 46 percent to 40 percent. Brooks said:
‘We are seeing trends in other states that resemble the Trump-Biden matchup here, but it has been a decade since we’ve seen independent voters lean to the Democrat versus the Republican in a high-profile race. Is this an aberration or a trend? It’s a snapshot in time during a turbulent month.’
A columnist with The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette spoke about the poll’s results. Emeritus Professor of Politics at Hendrix College Dr. Jay Barth designed part of the poll and helped with the analysis:
‘Arkansas, as across the nation, President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting recession, and the social conflicts following the police killing of George Floyd, have combined to harm his public standing. Trump finds himself “under water” with Arkansas voters just five months before the general election that will determine whether he gains a second term. While Trump’s standing remains strong with Republicans in the state.’
‘While just under half of voters disapprove of his performance, he is still able to eke out a small lead in a prospective matchup with Democrat Joe Biden. While Biden leads with women (50%-42%) and Independents (46%-40%) and has strong leads with non-white voters and voters under 45 years old, President Trump’s standing with other political and demographic groups allows him a lead.’
‘Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton has no major party opposition to his re-election, but polling of Arkansas’s voters highlights his polarizing nature…The issue on which Cotton has become particularly polarizing inside and outside the state is his view of protestors across the country in the aftermath of the Floyd killing.’
Managing partner with Impact Management Group Robert Coon also contributed to the design and analysis:
‘President Donald Trump’s job approval has fallen significantly in several national polls recently, including the monthly Gallup survey which registered a 10 point drop from 49% to 39% last week. While Arkansas has typically been friendlier territory for the president, this survey shows that it’s not immune from shifts in broader public sentiment.’
Coon ended with:
‘In many ways, Senator Tom Cotton’s job approval numbers in this survey mirror those of the president. As with Trump, Democrats universally disapprove of the job he’s doing (96%), Republicans near universally approve (85%), and Independents net disapprove by 12 percentage points (51% to 39%). Cotton faces some of the same approval dynamics as the president when it comes to gender. Women net disapprove of Cotton’s job performance (-13), while men approve (+7). Recently, Cotton received national attention for an oped he penned in the New York Times calling for an “overwhelming show of force,’
The poll surveyed 869 likely Arkansas voters selected at random on June 9 and 10, 2020. The margin of error was 3.3 +/- percent. The pollsters contacted the participants via text. If qualified people wanted to participate, they were given a link to the online survey. There were 30.7 percent Democrats, 37.4 percent Republicans, 27.8 percent Independents, and 4.1 percent other.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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