PATH TO VICTORY: Tyler Pearson sees it in public opinion.

I’m going to share a summary of a poll paid for by Tyler Pearson, the Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. Jason Rapert.

Candidates’ polls should always be viewed warily, particularly when all aspects are not fully released. But, I find things about this poll both credible and illustrative of how hard it is to beat even a controversial incumbent.


Short take: Poll of 350 people by EMC Research found only 35 percent with a favorable opinion of Rapert and only 33 percent with a positive view of his job performance. His well-publicizied record of poor judgment and demagoguery certainly could lead to such numbers.

But …. in an initial matchup question about Rapert v. Pearson — before questions about specific elements of Rapert’s record — these same respondents, though negatively predisposed, gave Rapert a 54-36 lead over the relatively unknown Pearson. The devil you know versus the devil you don’t know.


Pearson also posed the matchup after a series of undisclosed and certainly unflattering representations of Rapert’s work and record. Then the horse race question favored Pearson 48-38. Perhaps if every single voter in Rapert’s district could be prepped with those same questions ………. 

The campaign sees it as a “path to victory.” Pearson’s stated objectives SHOULD be such a path (as opposed to, among others, Rapert’s Ebola fear-mongering and contempt for three-branch government).


“Voters say Jason Rapert is embarrassing them because he continues to focus on issues that are out of the state legislature’s reach. Instead of working on issues his constituents care about, he’s been focused on chasing headlines. He simply hasn’t delivered the kind of leadership that Faulkner and Perry counties demand.”

“I’m going to have a laser-like focus on creating good-paying jobs, expanding pre-K programs for every four-year-old, keeping college tuition low, maintaining the Private Option, and raising the minimum wage,” Pearson said. “These are the issues that matter to everyday folks in the district and I will continue to listen to all my constituents, no matter their politics, to try and find solutions to the problems that face Conway and central Arkansas.”

Where’s my Man of La Mancha soundtrack?