New Polls: Griffin And Crawford Vulnerable (updated)

October 26, 2011

New polls released today show that Republican Congressmen Tim Griffin and Rick Crawford are among the most vulnerable incumbents in the country. 

Public Policy Polling conducted polls for the House Majority PAC in 12 Congressional Districts across the country.  The House Majority PAC is an organization created to help Democratic candidates through independent expenditure campaigns and PPP is a Democratic-leaning polling organization, but their track record of predicting races is spot on.  The polls were conducted from October 19-23. 

In the 1st Congressional District, only 43% of voters would cast a ballot to re-elect Rick Crawford and 48% of voters would prefer someone else. 

Congressman Tim Griffin in the 2nd District is in a similar predicament with only 44% of voters willing to vote for him and 49% preferring to vote for someone else. 

Both Congressman have a message problem next year when it comes to being in the Republican majority.  

In the 1st CD, 49% of voters had a negative opinion of Congressional Republicans and only 38% held a positive one. The 2nd CD is even worse for the GOP since 53% of voters have a negative opinion of Congressional Republicans and 36% have a positive view. 

Regardless of their opponents, both Crawford’s and Griffin’s strategies are to tie the Democratic nominee to Barack Obama and attempt to nationalize the race.  However, that same tactic could be applied to the incumbents by showing them as voting in lockstep with the Republican majority and that might make the Obama vs. DC GOP ties a wash, thus forcing the campaign agenda on more local issues.

Last month, Talk Business conducted a poll of all four Congressional Districts and our numbers showed similar trends noted in the PPP polls.  Click here for those September poll results and here for my past analysis.

Rick Crawford has done a pitiful job of taking care of business in his district and every poll I’ve seen supports that premise.  The 1st Congressional District currently has one announced Democratic candidate, State Representative Clark Hall, but I predict that before filing closes next year, other Democrats will key into these polling numbers and jump into this race.

As of yet, Tim Griffin does not have an announced opponent and unless Democrats find a credible candidate these new poll numbers are meaningless. 

As was reported earlier today on our Talk Politics blog, Democratic Party of Arkansas chairman Will Bond’s name has been circulated as a potential candidate. You can read more on that topic at this link.

With the poll numbers from Talk Business and Public Policy Polling, it’s clear Arkansas Democrats can take back the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts.  They just can’t afford to let this opportunity go to waste.