Thursday, September 28, 2006

Governor's Race Poll That You Can Believe

The Wall Street Journal has released another Zogby Poll on the Governor's race. This one includes Green Party Candidate Jim Lendall but leaves out Independent Rod Bryan- who has more appeal that I at first gave him credit for. For poll results click HERE then click on the GOVERNOR tab at the top of the box.

The results are as follows...

Democrat Mike Beebe 45.7%
Republican Asa Hutchinson 43%
Green Jim Lendall 4%
Undecided? 6.3%

The margin of error was just over 4%.


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

This represents a tiny narrowing of the race from Zogby's last poll, with the gap shrinking from 3.3% to 2.7%.

Lendall is pretty strong for a third party candidate who just made the ballot and just started campaigning. It is true that for every voter Lendall has Beebe has 11 voters, but that 11 to 1 ratio in voters is surprisingly narrow considering Beebe's thousands to one advantage in spending.

One can only conclude that there is a segment of left wing voters out there who are disgusted at the good ole boy network putting up a Democrat that corporate villians can love.

One red flag for both camps, but especially Hutchinson since he is a bit behind, is that the two major party candidates are losing rather than gaining voters as the election draws near.

Of course it is possible to read too much into this because of margins for error, but you look at the numbers since August of 05 and you can see that both of these guys have flat numbers. Beebe peaked this August without ever getting over 50% and has been drifting down ever since. Hutchinson has been stuck in the lower 40's for a while.

I have been reminding people for months, ever since the day Lendall filed suit to get on the ballot, that this race could well be won with less than 50% of the vote. That is because the facts pointed to a slam dunk win for Lendall in the ballot access battle, and voter disenchantment, anger even, with the current system has never been higher in my lifetime.

In this last poll, Lendall gained 4% since he was just now included. Some of that may have come from the other two since Beebe dropped nine tenths of a point. Asa only dropped one third as much but he still dropped.

Rod Bryan was not included in this poll, but my gut tells me that he has been doing well enough to show up if included in the poll. He draws from a different (younger and less doctrinaire liberal) group of disenchanted voters than Lendall does. A poll which includes him may well show him with a point or two - with perhaps close to half of it coming from the numbers of the two major party candidates.

Beebe is hemmed in. He can't run to the middle without losing votes to Lendall and possibly Bryan. That is going to hurt him with that critical undecided vote.

The Republicans have been boasting about what a great voter ID system they have. If they have a way to identify who those undecideds are and what their hot buttons might be then this would be a perfect opportunity to show how their methods can win a statewide election.

But I am not sure that last 6% (or even five since I think some of those are Rod Bryan voters) are even going to vote. Turnout might be more important than the undecided at this point.

If Asa really is down 43 to 45.7, and only 5% is really undecided, Asa has to get almost 4% of that 5% to win. That is real hard. They must identify who these people are, and directly target them. If they are wishy-washy moderates, then they must find a way to fire up the base without scaring these folks off. If they are good-ole boys then Asa is going to win because he can go Pat Buchanan right for the next six weeks and both fire up his base and get the swing voters.

The reality is that the undecided voters will be a combination of both groups, and that will make the decisions even harder. This kind of situation makes me glad I am no longer in the business and wishing I was all at the same time.

9:37 AM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder Beebe's camp is vandalizing Asa's signs. This race is close! It's going to be until the very end I think. But I still also think that Asa will win because those independent voters and undecideds will see that Asa is the more substantive candidate of the 2 primary candidates in this race and will vote for him.

1:17 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

The Zogby Interactive polls used by the WSJ are next to worthless, because, as you may already know, it's taken entirely over the internet. These polls tend to trend Republican in Arkansas (likely a result of there being more Republicans with access to the internet in Arkansas) and the true results are often well outside the stated margin of error (sometimes by double digits.)

4:14 AM, October 07, 2006  
Blogger Conrad said...

I hope that both Lendall and Bryan receive more than 3% of the vote. Then there might be 4 options for Arkansas voters.

I am voting for Jim, not only because I beleive he is a better and more ethical person tha Beebe or Hutchinson, but because I truly want the Green Party to have full ballot access for the next 4 years.

I think Rod has some great ideas, but I am voting for Jim.

9:36 PM, October 22, 2006  

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