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October 23, 2013

Broken Narrative Alert: Arkansas Voters Blame Democrats More Than The GOP For The Shutdown

A confession up front: I'm being somewhat dishonest here. I don't care about polls in general and I've spent a good bit of time dismissing the post-shutdown polls as irrelevant a year away from an election. I still think that's true but it's important to point out to the people who live and die by polls that there's another side to the story.

With that out of the way....

When it came to the partial federal government shutdown, Arkansans blamed the president and Democrats. A full 37 percent of respondents and 39 percent of likely voters blamed President Obama and the Democrats for the shutdown. Only 26 percent of respondents and 27 percent of likely voters blamed the Republicans in Congress.

John Boozman received his lowest approval ratings yet, 34 percent of likely voters, down from 45 percent last year. His disapproval rating jumped to 29 percent of likely voters from 18 percent last year.

Only 34 percent of likely voters approved of Mark Pryor’s performance, down from 53 percent last year. His disapproval ratings were also dramatically higher, with 44 percent of likely voters disapproving of his performance, up from 21 percent last year.

Now you might say, "It's Arkansas, nothing but a bunch of redneck hillbillies there. Of course they are going to side with the GOP".

Not so fast my anti-hillbilly friends. Arkansas is a deep red state in terms of presidential elections but it has a Democratic governor and that Mark Pryor fellow who is deeply unpopular is a US Senator and member of the Democrat party. He's also up for re-election next year.

Yes, the GOP took a hit on the "Generic Representative" ballot but that's not going to appear on a single ballot next year. People with real names, and real records like Mark Pryor are.

It's a long way out and a lot can happen in a year but all things considered, Pryor isn't sitting around thinking "Thanks to the shutdown I've got the GOP right where I want them!".

Story courtesy of the Washington Post's Josh Kraushaar who notes that this type of dissatisfaction with a Democrat Senator has to have other incumbents up next year worried.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:37 AM

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