Lincoln Vote on Healthcare Bill Could Change Her Race

Utica, NY – Zeroing in on Arkansas, home of swing vote Senator Blanche Lincoln, a new poll by Zogby International finds deep opposition to the healthcare reform proposals pending in the Senate.

In a telephone survey of 501 likely voters in Arkansas, conducted on November 16-17, 2009, voters reported opposing the healthcare changes with only 29% saying they backed it while 64% said they were opposed.  Fifty percent of likely voters indicated strong opposition to the plan while only 17% indicated strong support.

In an initial match-up of Lincoln and possible Republican candidate State Senator Gilbert Baker, the incumbent, Lincoln, holds a narrow 41-39 lead.  Against another possible GOP contender, State Senator Kim Hendren, Lincoln holds a more substantial 45-29 lead.

But when voters were asked how they would vote in a Lincoln-Baker race if Lincoln voted in favor of the healthcare legislation, the incumbent Democrat fell behind her possible GOP challenger 37-49.  In all, 48% of likely Arkansas voters said they would be less likely to back Lincoln’s re-election if she supports the healthcare bill with 38% saying they were much less likely to support her in that event.

Voters currently indicated that they do not know how either Lincoln or Arkansas’ other Senator Mark Pryor stand on the bill.  Asked if Lincoln supported the bill, 42% said she did, 24% said she did not and 34% were not sure.  As for Pryor, there was even less clarity with 35% reporting that he supported the legislation and 18% saying he opposed it.  Forty-seven percent said they were not sure of his position.

Opposition to the healthcare bill was significant – as noted, 64% of voters opposed the bill and 29% supported it – before voters heard anything about it in the survey.  After a brief outline of the pros and cons of the legislation, support for the bill moved to 26% and opposition moved to 68%.

The survey was administered by Zogby International which is solely responsible for its content.  It was paid for by the League of American Voters, a group which opposes the health care legislation.

For full survey results click here.

Zogby International was commissioned by League of American Voters to conduct a telephone survey of 501 likely voters in Arkansas.  Samples were randomly drawn from telephone cd’s of national listed sample. Zogby International surveys employ sampling strategies in which selection probabilities are proportional to population size within area codes and exchanges. Up to six calls are made to reach a sampled phone number. Cooperation rates are calculated using one of AAPOR’s approved methodologies[1] and are comparable to other professional public-opinion surveys conducted using similar sampling strategies.[2] Weighting by region, party, age, race and gender is used to adjust for non-response.  The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.


[1] See COOP4 (p.38) in Standard Definitions: Final Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates of Surveys. The American Association for Public Opinion Research, (2000).

[2] Cooperation Tracking Study: April 2003 Update, Jane M. Sheppard and Shelly Haas. The Council for Marketing & Opinion Research (CMOR). Cincinnati, Ohio (2003).