Arkansas Governor: Beebe (D) 50%, Keet (R) 40%

Rasmussen Reports

The gubernatorial race in Arkansas is a little closer this month, but Democratic incumbent Mike Beebe still leads his Republican challenger by 10 points.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Beebe picking up 50% support, while Republican Jim Keet earns 40% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer a different candidate in the race, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

The latest numbers mark Beebe’s lowest level of support in three Rasmussen Reports surveys conducted this year. Last month, he held a 57% to 33% lead over Keet. In mid-May, Beebe led 53% to 38%.

Beebe, who is seeking a second four-year term, defeated former Congressman Asa Hutchinson in 2006 with 55% of the vote.

The governor earns strong approval ratings from Arkansas voters. Three-out-of-four (74%) approve of the job he is doing, while only 23% disapprove. Those numbers include 32% who Strongly Approve of his job performance and eight percent (8%) who Strongly Disapprove.

While Beebe earns 80% support from Democrats, Keet gets just 59% from voters in his own party. Still, while Keet’s GOP support has not changed, Beebe’s support from Democratic voters is down from 94% last month. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, the two candidates break roughly even.

The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Arkansas was conducted on July 22, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Beebe thus far seems unhurt by the national political mood against incumbents, Democrats in particular. But Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln is the only incumbent senator projected to lose her seat in the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings. New numbers from the Senate race will be released tomorrow.

Just seven percent (7%) in Arkansas rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while 54% rate it as poor. Twenty-four percent (24%) say economic conditions are getting better, but 51% say they are getting worse.

Keet wins 54% support among voters who believe the economy is worsening. Beebe draws 85% of the vote from those who say the economy is getting better.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of the state’s voters believe the U.S. economy is in a recession.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) in Arkansas favor passage of an Arizona-like immigration law in their state, which is higher than the national average. Twenty-one percent (21%) oppose such a law in Arkansas.

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