PPP's newest Arkansas poll finds Republicans leading across the board in the state's key races for this year, led by Tom Cotton with a 43/38 advantage over Mark Pryor and Asa Hutchinson with a 44/38 lead over Mike Ross at the top of the ticket.
Cotton's lead is up slightly from 41/39 on our previous poll. Voters aren't in love with him- 40% see him favorably to 41% with an unfavorable opinion. But Pryor continues to have tough approval ratings, with 36% giving him good marks to 51% who disapprove. Both candidates are receiving 77% of the vote from within their own party but Cotton has a substantial advantage with independents, getting 53% of their vote to 20% for Pryor.
The Governor's race is pretty steady with Hutchinson's 44/38 lead little changed from 43/38 in early August. Hutchinson has positive favorability numbers (43/35) while voters are pretty closely divided in their feelings about Ross (35/36). The strong GOP advantage with independent voters carries over to this race too- 48% support Hutchinson to 23% for Ross.
Republicans lead by similar margins in all of the down ballot races too. It's a 4 point lead for State Auditor, a 5 point advantage for State Land Commissioner, a 6 point edge for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, an 8 point lead for State Treasurer, and the biggest GOP advantage is for Secretary of State at 11 points.
Barack Obama has a 31/62 approval rating in Arkansas, including 13/80 with independents, and that's probably making things hard for the Democratic ticket in the state.
The news isn't all bad for progressives in Arkansas. The state's initiative to raise the minimum wage is headed for overwhelming passage- 68% of voters are behind it compared to only 24% who are opposed. It's a rare thing we even find with support across party lines- Democrats give it its most emphatic support at 88/7 but Republicans (56/35) and independents (54/36) are behind it as well.
Other findings from Arkansas looking toward 2014:
-Mike Huckabee would easily be the strongest candidate for President in Arkansas in 2016. He would lead Hillary Clinton 53/41 in a hypothetical match up. A plurality of voters in the state- 45%- actually say they want Huckabee to run to 43% who say they think he should sit it out. It's exceptionally rare to find a potential home state Presidential candidate whose fellow residents actually want them to run. Clinton runs relatively close to the rest of the potential GOP candidates- trailing Jeb Bush 46/41, Rand Paul 45/43, and Ted Cruz 44/43 while actually leading Chris Christie 42/41. Bill Clinton remains a popular figure in his home state with 53% of voters rating him favorably to 39% with an unfavorable opinion.
Full results here