Editor’s note: Roby Brock, with our content partner Talk Business, wrote this report. He can be reached at email@example.com
As a follow up to our Fourth Congressional District GOP primary poll, which showed Tom Cotton and Beth Anne Rankin tied for support at 38%, Talk Business and Hendrix College quizzed Republican voters on four additional issues.
The latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll, conducted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, asked questions of 542 likely Republican primary voters in Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District, which encompasses all or part of 33 counties. You can access the full poll results here.
GOP PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
While front-runner Mitt Romney has a clear path to the GOP Presidential nomination, four candidates will be on the May 22 ballot for Republican voters. How do those voters feel about Romney as their candidate and the other qualifiers for the ballot?
Q: Four Republican Presidential candidates have qualified to be on the ballot in the May 22 primary: Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?
15% — Newt Gingrich
6% — Ron Paul
46.5% — Mitt Romney
24% — Rick Santorum
8.5% — Don’t know
Romney received 56.5% of the vote versus 33% for Pres. Barack Obama in a survey of general election voters conducted by Talk Business and Hendrix College in late March.
WARREN BUFFETT RULE
Obama and Senate Democrats recently pushed for action on a bill that would codify the “Buffett Rule,” a proposal to raise the income tax on those who make more than $1 million annually. The effort has been promoted by billionaire investor Warren Buffett. By a 3-to-1 margin, Fourth District Republican voters opposed the plan.
Q6. The U.S. Senate recently sought to consider a bill called “The Warren Buffett Rule,” which would place a higher income tax on those making more than $1 million a year. Would you support the Buffett Rule becoming law?
23% — Yes
66% — No
11% — Don’t know
Per capita income in Arkansas in 2011 was $34,104, according to statistics released last month.
BOBBY PETRINO FIRING
Of course, a raging topic of debate in Arkansas for the last two weeks centered on developments that led to the firing of Razorback head football coach, Bobby Petrino. In the Fourth Congressional District, GOP voters overwhelmingly supported the university’s decision to terminate Petrino.
Q7. The University of Arkansas recently fired head football coach Bobby Petrino. Do you agree with the decision to fire Petrino?
84% — Yes
6% — No
10% — Don’t know
Dr. Jay Barth, with the Hendrix College Department of Politics and International Relations, helped craft and analyze the poll. Barth noted:
• It appears that former Governor Romney is on his way to an easy win in the May 22 presidential primary in the state with the departure of Rick Santorum from the race.
Despite the relative poverty of the district, the Buffet Rule is deeply unpopular among Republican voters in the Fourth.
While we cannot be sure that the finding is generalizable to all Arkansans, there is evidence that those Arkansans living in the southern part of the state and the River Valley region approve overwhelmingly of the decision to fire Coach Bobby Petrino.
Link here for more poll results, including numbers for U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, and the polling methodology.