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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's Beebe worth to candidates? Poll: Not much

Posted By on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM

SHORT COATTAILS? Gov. Mike Beebe.
  • SHORT COATTAILS? Gov. Mike Beebe.

SHORT COATTAILS? Gov. Mike Beebe.
  • SHORT COATTAILS? Gov. Mike Beebe.
The Talk Business/Hendrix College poll finds continuing high approval for Gov. Mike Beebe.

But the poll offers little comfort to those hoping to use Beebe's popularity to elect legislative candidates. His endorsement of a candidate isn't comparable to his popularity in influence. Asked if his endorsement would influence them: 29 percent of all respondents said yes, 48 percent said no and the rest didn't know. The numbers were 25-53 among independents and 19-63 among Republicans.

One "however": If even one in five Republicans say they could be influenced by a Beebe endorsement, that could be a critical boost in a close race.

But no argument here: You score more negative political points by linking a state legislative candidate to the black man in the faraway White House than you gain by linking a state legislative candidate to Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe's solid record. Makes sense doesn't it? Obama is a whole lot more important in state legislative debate than the governor, right? And Republicans assure me that race has nothing to do with this disconnect.

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