Thu, Nov 3, 2022 6:59 PM
By Kim Jarrett, The Center Square
Fifty-nine percent of respondents to the 24th annual Arkansas Poll said they were voting Republican in the gubernatorial race while 38% said they would vote Democrat.
The University of Arkansas interviewed 801 people by telephone between Oct. 13 and Oct. 31. The candidates names were not mentioned in the survey.
Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Democrat Chris Jones and Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington, Jr. are vying for the state's top job. Gov. Asa Hutchinson is term limited and cannot run again.
Respondents may be leaning Republican in the gubernatorial race but fewer are identifying with the party. The poll results released Thursday show that 34% of respondents say they are Republican, down from 36% in 2021. Twenty-three percent say they are Democrats, up 20% from 2021.
The number of respondents identifying as independents decreased from 33% in 2021 to 32% in 2022.
The poll showed most voters don't' support a ballot measure legalizing possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for residents over the age of 21. Fifty-nine percent said they were against it while 41% said they were in favor of it.
Opinions on a a referendum to allow lawmakers to call a special session were split almost evenly. Fifty-one percent of those polled said they were in favor of it while 49% said they were against it.
Voters' top concern is the economy, according to the poll. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said the economy was their top concern compared to 22% who listed it as their top concern in 2021. Second on the list of top concerns is politics followed by drugs and health care.
The poll also shows that some Arkansans may have changed their views on abortion since the 2021 poll, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas.