by Max Brantley
Talk Business and Politics has already riled some Republicans with its new poll with Hendrix College on approval ratings of the state's four congressmen. Rep. Steve Womack is safe in the 3rd, naturally, as any Republican sock puppet would be. Rep. Mike Ross, the retiring Democrat, does OK.
The GOP unhappiness (expressed on some Twitter comments on the poll) is apparently over low favorability numbers for Reps. Rick Crawford and Tim Griffin (35 and 40 respectively; with Crawford further burdened by 42 percent who don't know much about him.) From Hendrix prof Jay Barth's analysis:
In the Second District, Barth sees some vulnerability for the high-profile Griffin, whom he describes as "polarizing" when one looks at how self-identified party-line voters respond to Griffin's job performance.
"Republicans love Congressman Griffin - he has about 70% support among Republicans, but among Democrats, it's 60% opposition and only about 15% support," Barth said.
In the First District, Crawford's primary vulnerability lies in the fact that he is still an unknown quantity with 42% neither approving nor disapproving of his job performance.
I'll say this much: Neither can be beaten if nobody runs against them and, so far, no candidate has turned up. Democrats reportedly have a poll showing a Democrat could beat Griffin (presuming the Democrat is not again a liberal black woman). But there's only one poll that counts. It's in November 2012.