Arkansas Poll shows increased pessimism, concern over economy

Posted: October 23, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.

Arkansans are "dramatically" more pessimistic about the future and have again identified the economy as the top problem facing the state, according to the 15th annual Arkansas Poll.

The study was conducted earlier this month during the federal shutdown through telephone interviews Oct. 10-17 with a random sample of 800 adults in Arkansas. The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Click here for a detailed summary of the complete results (PDF).

Sixty-three percent of respondents agreed Arkansas is generally headed in the right direction, which tied for the lowest level in the poll's history and marked a 10-point drop from a year earlier, according to a statement from the poll's sponsor, the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas.

The economy was listed as the top problem by 44 percent of respondents. Twelve percent answered health care.

Only 14 percent of respondents said they were better off financially from the prior year, the lowest level in the poll's history and down from 23 percent when asked in 2012. Nearly a quarter of Arkansans polled said they expected finances to get worse, up from 13 percent last year and the previous high of 20 percent in 2010, officials said.

“It’s impossible to say for certain what has caused such pessimism among Arkansans,” poll director Janine Parry said in a statement. “Given there’s really nothing dramatically different from last year in the broader environment, the recent federal government shutdown seems like the obvious culprit.”

On the shutdown, 37 percent of all respondents and 39 percent of likely voters said it was President Barack Obama and the Democrats' fault. Twenty-six percent of all respondents at 27 percent of likely voters said Republicans were to blame.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., had his lowest approval rating ever in the poll at 34 percent of likely voter compared with 45 percent last year. Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's rating also dipped to 34 percent from 53 percent a year earlier.

Gov. Mike Beebe's approval rating fell from 72 percent to 68 percent.

Obama got only a 29 percent approval rating, with 66 percent of respondents disapproving of his performance.

Obama better shape up. He's down to Bush's level.

Posted by: cdawg

October 23, 2013 at 11:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

No, Obama is a good 12 inches taller than George


Posted by: rummy

October 23, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Let's see: The poll was conducted in a state where a large part of the population has an irrational dislike for government, and for President Obama in particular. Disgruntlement, then, is no surprise.

The poll was conducted during the Teabaggers' government shutdown, which even Teabaggers secretly knew would fail to accomplish anything, and which intelligent people knew would cause major problems. Increased pessimism, then, is no surprise.

The various detailed responses are largely based on misinformation and lies from the various news media and amply provided by our own representatives and senators. Displeasure, then, is no surprise.

Why is this news?

Posted by: AlphaCat

October 23, 2013 at 2:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A review of the last dozen or so polls show Obama right at 45% job approval.

Favorability, about 55%:

Teabagger Ted Cruz in contrast has a 14 percent favorability rating:

The republican brand? Bottom of the toilet and swirling for the hole:
"Just 28 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, Gallup called it a "record low," noting that "this is the lowest favorable rating measured for either party since Gallup began asking this question...."

How about the one house they control?
"Congress approval rating plummets to 5%"

Five percent? Five percent of Americans couldn't find their bum with a flashlight and a search team.

"Republicans again earned a 17%-approval rating from Americans, the same number... as last week. Seventy percent of the public disapproves of the party now, down from 74%."

And what has been the result of all of their blatant lying about healthcare?

"Poll Reveals GOP's Government Shutdown Bolstered Obamacare's Popularity By 20%"

Nice. Keep talking wingnuts. It's working. It really is.

Rush Limbaugh:
"I was trying to think if ever in my life, I could remember any major political party being so irrelevant. I have never seen it. I have never seen a major political party simply occupy placeholders, as the Republican party has been doing....
The Republicans have done everything they can to try to make everyone like them and what they've ended up doing is creating one of the greatest political disasters I've ever seen in my lifetime...I was pondering if I could ever remember...a time when a political party just made a decision not to exist, for all intents and purposes."

Posted by: fayfreethinker

October 23, 2013 at 4:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )