Tuesday, May 21, 2024

AR-Sen: New DK/R2K Poll Suggests Run-Off Likely

New numbers out today from Daily Kos/Research 2000.  Long story short, Blanche Lincoln has gained three points (up from 43 to 46), and Bill Halter has gained two (35 to 37) since the last DK/R2K poll was released.  D.C. Morrison is still polling in the single digits, having dropped from 7 to 6.  Undecideds are also down, falling from 15 to 11.  But, channeling my inner Levar Burton, you don’t have to take MY word for it:

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 5/10-12. Likely voters. MoE 4% (4/26-28 results)

Democratic primary, likely Democratic voters, MoE 5%

Blanche Lincoln (D) 46 (43)
Bill Halter (D) 37 (35)
D.C. Morrison 6 (7)
Undecided 11 (15)

Seems like much treading water compared to two weeks ago, both candidates have inched up. Lincoln will desperately try to capture enough of that undecided vote to get her above 50 percent and avoid the runoff. I’ll call it right now — she won’t get to 50. I suspect she’ll be around 44-45 percent.

Now remember that the Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Job Security have been spending millions in sleazy ads, while Lincoln herself has been hurling all manner of shit up against the wall, hoping something would stick. On the other side, labor unions have been pummeling Lincoln. And yet…

Favorable/Unfavorable among likely Democratic primary voters

Blanche Lincoln 61/35 (59/33)
Bill Halter 65/17 (66/14)

Halter still has the edge on favorabilities — his trump card in the primary (and runoff). But beyond that, look at the trend lines. Primary voters are completely ignoring all the mud on the airwaves. The millions spent are having ZERO impact on the primary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this.

How does this compare with other polling?  Well, as we discussed Monday, a recent Mason-Dixon/Stephens Media poll had a slightly different spread.

When asked which Democratic U.S. Senate candidate they will vote for — or already did in early voting — 44 percent of likely Democratic primary voters picked Lincoln, 32 percent picked Halter, 7 percent picked D.C. Morrison and 17 percent were undecided.

So, the difference between that poll and the new DK/R2K poll is +2 for Lincoln, +5 for Halter, -1 for Morrison, and -6 for undecided.  Just like the before, the DK/R2K has the poll just inside the MOE (5%), and, as noted, the M-D/SM poll results were just outside that same MOE.

Translation: Not much has changed.  My prediction as of this writing:  Lincoln 48, Halter 45, and Morrison 7.

The new poll also measured the AR-Sen race on the GOP side for the first time.

John Boozman (R) 46
Jim Holt (R) 19
Gilbert Baker (R) 12
Kim Hendren (R) 6
Other 4
Undecided 13

This order matches the order in the aforementioned M-D/SM poll, which had John Boozman with 48%, as well as Jim “Duggar” Holt ahead of Gilbert Baker, 17% to 11%.  Holt’s nuttiness aside, I consider this a good sign for Arkansas, in that it means voters are smart enough that Baker’s ridiculous attempt to liken the AR-Sen race to the American Revolution is not resonating

All the best political rallies happen in a desolate field.


Speaking of that last post on AR-Sen polling, in it, I wrote:

Update: Pointed out to me after I posted this was that the Arkansas News poll was commissioned by Stephens Media.  The Stephens Group is Lincoln’s third-largest campaign backer.  Given the flaws inherent in the poll, I don’t think it is at all unreasonable to suggest that the “voter turnout” subset was a deliberate, results-oriented choice.

I received an email from Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon yesterday.  He was very cordial in his reply to the above-quoted update, writing:

[M]y media clients are all over the board politically (I’d say MSNBC is a pretty good balancer to Stephens).  The media clients have little say in how I do things, they just sign off on what issues to poll, and the question wording and execution are left up to me.

Other progressive-leaning clients of M-D include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Denver Post & The Miami Herald.  So, I stand corrected, and, to the extent I implied that there was something untoward going on with the polling, I apologize.  BHR may be unabashed in our biases for or against certain candidates, but we still shoot for intellectual honesty, and we will absolutely admit when we are wrong about something.

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