by Max Brantley
As mentioned earlier, John Brummett's column today is a skeptical take on his news organization's poll in the race for governor.
Our further thoughts about that: I am not arguing for specific numbers, but a Beebe lead is credible. What has happened that would have given A$a momentum? Nothing. Disaffection with the war and president are also huge factors that hurt A$a's standing, as a candidate of the responsible party.
That Rasmussen poll? All the internals released indicate an oversample of Republicans.
Finally, this Oakleaf analysis of internals from the Opinion Research Poll tends to confirm pre-existing perceptions of a Beebe strong point (acceptability to conservatives) and Hutchinson weakness (high negatives on accont of his role in the Clinton affair and confusion with his brother):
Hutchinson is a polarizing figure, unlike Beebe, and has a high negative (33%) compared to Beebe (14%). For example, even among Republicans, Beebe's negative is only 28%, while among Democrats Hutchinson's negative is 47%. Likewise among conservatives, Beebe's negative is 19% while among liberals Hutchinson's negative is 52%. And among the critical moderate category, Beebe scores 69 fav/10 unfav, compared to Hutchinson's 38 fav/43 unfav.
Hutchinson also has a large negative among the over-65 age group (largest single age category in the sample) at 42%. (Today's D-G story about the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole is illustrative of that groups gripe against Republicans.)Hutchinson also carries a high negative among the blue collar (29% compared to Beebe's 12%--positives are 46% for H and 61% for B). Here is a traditionally Democratic group that in previous elections has been susceptible to wedge issue campaigns (guns, gays, black crime, etc.), that appears to be coming home. Also, this is the first poll done including the independents by name, and they are pulling votes almost equally from Democrats (4%) as Republicans (5%). Independent voters, critical to Hutchinson, went to independents at a rate of 11%. In addition to the 5% who are voting independent, the poll also had a fairly high undecided on governor (11%), the waystop for voters in the process of changing their mind.