AR-Sen: More on Sunday’s Poll Numbers

20 Jul

In addition to proving Sen. Lincoln has yet to make much of a dent in John Boozman’s commanding polling lead over her since her June 8 primary runoff victory, yesterday’s Talk Business poll also showed us another interesting trend — the increasing number of people selecting neither at this point, which stands at 11% (around the number that D.C. Morrison polled at during his disingenuous third-wheel routine in the Dem primary with Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Halter).

Trevor Drown 3%
John Gray 2%
Undecided 6%

While the accompanying article to the TB poll notes correctly, at least for the moment, that third-party candidates are not showing a lot of appeal, we find that 11% of voters not being able to pick between two well-known candidates as being pretty telling, really.  This is especially true when you consider that the negative ads that seemed to turn many off to both Lincoln and Halter during their bitter battle have yet to begin in this race, where there is far more fertile ground for name-calling.

Lincoln is still suffering from the anti-incumbent mood here, which is a trend that she will never completely buck between now and November. Boozman has sailed by with little reason to try to make many headlines at this point, but we’ve seen voter outrage against healthcare reform subside considerably since this spring (as people have realized that the sky remains intact), and the media and voters seem to be getting beyond the lynch mob town-hall mentality and are starting to demand specifics.  As those questions turn into “we know you’re against Obama, but what are you for?” inquiries of GOP candidates, this is something that will definitely help Democrats.

Not to mention, Blanche is slowly winning back irked progressives who are getting over their disappointment and are remembering how important it is to keep this country’s fate out of the hands of those who plundered so much in the blank-check freedom-lovin’ reign of George W. Bush.  Further, as we’ve noted, Boozman just isn’t much of a communicator or fundraiser, so the more he’s forced out there on the trail, the better off Team Lincoln will be. There’s little doubt this race will tighten up considerably (though it will remain one helluva an uphill climb for Blanche).

With the awkward Boozman being put to the test as the race tightens, voters should start to develop a better sense of the potential impact of choosing only the second Republican senator since Reconstruction to go to Washington from the Natural State.  After all, Boozman’s voting record shows someone out of touch with the majority of Americans on a host of issues; he just manages to make these votes in a fairly unoffensive manner, so many (if not most) Arkansans are blissfully unaware of his voting record at this point.  Should Lincoln somehow manage to tighten up this race, Boozman’s votes could become an important issue.

Also, if Boozman is pressed and forced to defend his record, one can’t help but wonder if he has enough anger running through his veins to be able to carry the Tea Party mantle (the energized wing of the GOP that he must harness) while also carrying conservative, yet still pro-American, Republicans and independents. Should Boozman falter, who is to say that “conservative independent” (read: Tea Party wannabe) Trevor Drown won’t be able to put some pressure on Boozman for not being outspoken enough (assuming Drown is allowed to take part in the debates as D.C. Morrison was)?  Drown certainly seems to be gearing up for such a scenario.  Here’s part of his challenge to the GOP taken from his recent interview with the “Arkansas Conservative News Network”:

My views are more in line with Arkansas Independents than those within the Republican establishment. Independents have not left the conservative beliefs of Arkansas. The Republican’s have abandoned the conservative beliefs of Arkansans. The Republican party has not shown me any reason to be part of them. In Arkansas, they clearly do not represent the conservative voice and across the nation they have strayed from their core beliefs. I will not be a part of any organization that has a situational ethics and leadership problem.

Before moving on, I have to point out the ARCN interview also included the following question:

Why do you think the President has used over 30 different social security numbers and is currently using a SSN that was issued to a man born in Connecticut in the late 1800s?

Wow.  That’s a special brand of stupidity right there.  But I digress.

Regarding third-party candidates, we think it’s important to note that Drown slightly bested Green Party candidate John Gray in the poll.  We previously wondered if we might see a Green Party resurgence in this race (similar to Rebekah Kennedy and her impressive showing against Mark Pryor in 2004) with so many Halter supporters completely disgusted with Sen. Lincoln and her low-brow shenanigans in the primary.   So far, however, the lackluster Gray has shown liberals and progressives little to get excited about. To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, John Gray, you are no Rebekah Kennedy.

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