SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Common Ground Arkansas commissioned a poll in June to gauge how satisfied Arkansas voters are with their role in the political process. Findings showed that Arkansas voters feel that they have too little power and that political parties have too much power over who holds office. Results also revealed that Arkansas voters feel that the values and issues they care about are being ignored by candidates.
An overwhelming number of Arkansas voters polled, 67%, said that voters do not have enough power in the political process. Only 23% said voters have the right amount of power.
Just 6% of Arkansas voters want to see political parties have more control over the process of selecting candidates for office. That compares to 58% of Arkansas voters who feel political parties have too much control over the process of candidate selection. Less than a quarter, 21%, feel that political parties have the right amount of control.
“We continue to see power grabs by elected officials and political parties at the expense of Arkansas voters. That isn’t going unnoticed by the people of Arkansas,” said Sen. Jim Hendren, founder of Common Ground Arkansas. “We hear from Arkansans from around this state who are fighting for a voice in a process that is increasingly stacked against everyday, hardworking Arkansans.”
This perceived lack of control over the political process leaves an electorate that often feels their values are unrepresented. A majority, 54%, said they feel candidates ignore Arkansas voters’ values and issues. Just 40% of Arkansans feel that candidates represent the values and issues that voters care about.
“Arkansas voters feel unrepresented in their choices and relatively powerless against hyperpartisanship,” said Misty Orpin, executive director of Common Ground Arkansas. “The answer is not to strip their power further, but to fulfill our state motto: The people rule.”
The poll was conducted by Citizen Data among 618 registered Arkansas voters between June 9 and June 12, 2022. Margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points
About Common Ground Arkansas:
Common Ground Arkansas is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization focused on supporting common sense governance in Arkansas through public education, leadership development, and advocacy for responsive government that betters the lives of Arkansans.