According to a poll from Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College released on Sunday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are statistically tied in the state of Arkansas.
The survey, which has a 3.3 percent margin of error, found that Trump enjoys the support of 47 percent of likely Arkansas voters, while 45 percent of them support Biden. The former vice president came in stronger among women, independents, voters younger than 45, and non-whites.
In 2016, when he ran against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump won Arkansas, a red state, by 20 percentage points.
The poll also measured Trump’s approval rating, finding that 46 percent of Arkansans approve of the president’s job performance, while 50 percent disapprove. Notably, Trump’s ratings are underwater among independents, 39 percent of whom approve of the job he is doing.
Nearly all Democrats, 99 percent of them, said that they disapprove of Trump’s job performance. Conversely, 90 percent of Republicans gave Trump positive marks.
According to Dr. Jay Barth, emeritus professor of politics at Hendrix College, “these results should be alarming” for Trump, given that he won the sate by a large margin four years ago.
“As the campaign continues through the summer and into the fall, Trump’s team will have to work to rectify his low approval and favorability — especially among Independents and women — a tough task made more difficult by a candidate notoriously difficult to control,” Barth said.
Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock pointed out that the fact that independent voters in Arkansas now lean Democratic could be a major sign of trouble for Trump.
“We are seeing trends in other states that resemble the Trump-Biden matchup here, but it has been a decade since we’ve seen independent voters lean to the Democrat versus the Republican in a high-profile race.”
The poll also investigated Republican Sen. Tom Cotton’s standing in the state, finding that his approval numbers “mirror those of the president.” The vast majority of Democrats disapprove of Cotton’s job performance, nearly all Republicans approve, and independent voters disapprove of it by 12 percentage points.
The survey seems to reflect a broader trend, suggesting that Trump is struggling with key voting blocs ahead of the 2020 presidential election, as his approval ratings continue to decrease.
A CNN poll released earlier this week found that Trump is trailing Biden by 14 points nationwide. It also established that the president’s approval rating is at its worst point since January, 2019, with 57 percent of voters disapproving of his job performance.