Arkansas Poll Gives Mixed Signal to Mike Beebe, Democrats (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 12:09 pm  

Will Bond, the state Democratic Party chairman, said the party's challenge has been to ask voters two key questions when looking at the election: "One, who thinks Governor Beebe has done a great job? The next question is who thinks he's doing that alone?"

Based on his approval ratings, Beebe is clearly winning on that first question and that's why Democrats have made him the centerpiece of their campaign to keep the Legislature. But the second question may be more of a struggle for Democrats as they try to translate Beebe's popularity and his legislative successes into wins for their candidates.

"That's our job, to remind them of that second question and remind them of that record by Democrats," Bond said.

That job is made tougher with an unpopular Democratic president who Republicans are eagerly tying to Democratic legislative candidates, and conservative groups such as Americans for Prosperity that have blanketed the state with mailers and advertisements.

Beebe's still an active force on the campaign trail, but his job now may also be preparing for the possibility of voters giving another party control of one or both chambers of the Legislature while also approving of his own performance. Beebe is stopping short of predicting who will control the Legislature after next week's election.

"Either way, it's going to be close," Beebe said. "Either way, they're going to have to work together. Either way, they're going to have to work together and figure out how to listen to one another's arguments or else they're going to turn into D.C., and I don't think they want that."

(Andrew DeMillo has covered Arkansas government and politics for The Associated Press since 2005. He can be reached at

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.) 



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