The Nov. 8 election is right around the corner, and a new poll released this week could offer a preview of what the results might look like in Arkansas this year.
The 18th annual Arkansas Poll, a state-wide telephone poll designed and analyzed by UA political science professor Janine Parry, released its findings on Wednesday morning.
According to the results, 59% of Arkansas favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton (36%) in upcoming the presidential election, and Sen. John Boozman’s (61%) over Democratic challenger Conner Eldridge (38%) in the statewide race for U.S. Senate.
The study also polled likely voters on the upcoming Measure 6 Medical Marijuana Amendment, and found that 51% of voters supported the measure versus 49% that opposed it.
Respondents were less concerned about the economy than they were in 2015, with just 28% of those polled answering that it is the most important issue facing the state in 2016, down from 47% a year ago.
More respondents were concerned about healthcare, politics, education, and crime in 2016 than the previous year as well.
This year’s poll was conducted from Oct. 18-25, and included 800 participants. About 40 percent of interviews were completed by cell phone.
The poll has typically been very accurate in predicting election results, typically coming within 2 points of the actual election day outcomes.
This year’s study also surveyed Arkansans on other issues, including gun laws, abortion, same-sex marriage, and climate change.
48% of respondents said they were in favor of laws that would make it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, 32% said there should be no change, and 14% said they would be in favor of laws that would make it easier.
On gun control, 53% Arkansans wanted no change to current laws, 31% were in favor of stricter regulations, and 14% responded in favor of less-strict gun regulations.
45% of those surveyed said they believed that the threat of climate change was generally exaggerated in the news, down from 50% in 2015. 25% believed the threat was underestimated, and 22% believed it was generally correct.
More than 60% of the survey respondents said they don’t believe same-sex marriages should be recognized, down slightly from 64% in 2015. 33% of those surveyed said they believe they should be recognized, and 10% didn’t have an opinion or declined to respond.
The survey’s margin of error statewide is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, meaning that researchers are 95 percent confident that the actual result lies within 3.5 percentage points in either direction of the result the poll’s sample produced, according to a news release.
The full results of the Arkansas Poll, including summary reports and additional information on the methodology used to conduct the research, is available at fulbright.uark.edu.