Select Page

Arkansas Poll Shows Increasing Concern About Climate Change

by | Nov 1, 2018 | Research News

The 20th annual Arkansas Poll finds that a growing number of Arkansans think climate change poses an imminent risk. They are also more concerned about healthcare than in the past, and they believe the state and country have more work to do to achieve gender and racial equity. The poll also included questions about the upcoming election and current political issues.

The Arkansas Poll, designed and analyzed by Janine Parry, professor of political science at the University of Arkansas, is one of the oldest public state polls in the country. It has consistently come within two points of actual election outcomes. Over the past two decades, the poll has tracked public opinion in Arkansas through 17,000 phone interviews.

This year, the poll is based on phone interviews with 1200 randomly selected participants statewide. Sixty-one percent of all calls were conducted over cell phones. For more information about the results, protocols and historic outcomes, go to the full 2018 Arkansas Poll Summary Report.

“It’s a credit to Arkansas that this annual effort to measure and share what the public wants from policymakers has hit this milestone,” Parry said. “Based on our election prediction record, it’s clear Arkansans are honest about their preferences. But interviewers at our national call center observe that the Arkansans they spoke to were also just plain nice. That’s an important intangible that’s kept the project rolling for two decades.”

Climate Change and Health Care

For the past four years, the Arkansas poll asked: “Do you think global warming, or climate change, will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime?” This year, the number of people who answered “yes” increased by more than 50 percent, from 30 percent to 47 percent. Forty-four percent of respondents answered “no,” a decrease of 17 points from last year.

In response to a question about issues facing people in Arkansas today, respondents cited health care as the most important, followed by drugs, education and the economy. This is a shift from the past two years, when respondents cited the economy as the most important issue.

Focus on Diversity

When asked if they thought the increasing number of people of different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in Arkansas made the state better or worse, 45 percent of Arkansas respondents said better, 45 percent said no difference and 7 percent said worse.

When asked about the effects of a growing emphasis on diversity in the workplace, 40 percent said it helped, 43 percent said it made no difference and 10 percent said it hurt.

When asked about racial equity, 75 percent of respondents said the country had more to do in that area, and 70 percent said the state had more to do. On the question of gender equity, 70 percent thought the country needed to do more, while 67 percent thought the state needed to do more.

Policy Questions

The poll also included questions related to the upcoming election and current policy issues. The responses to these are listed below.

Ballot Measures

  • Referred Amendment 2 – Require voters to present photo ID: 73 percent favor, 24 percent oppose.
  • Issue 5 – Increase minimum wage: 67 percent favor, 29 percent oppose.

Governor’s Race

  • Hutchinson (R): 59 percent
  • Henderson (D): 35 percent
  • Other: 6 percent

Current Issues

  • Abortion: 38 percent favor laws that would make it more difficult; 20 percent favor laws that would make it easier; 36 percent favor no change.
  • Gun Control: 44 percent favor stricter gun control; 10 percent favor less strict gun control; 43 percent favor no change.

The poll also included questions about party affiliation, political ideology and approval ratings of public figures. To see all the results, go to the 2018 Arkansas Poll Summary Report.

About The Author

Camilla Shumaker is the director of science and research communications. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Arkansas in 2001. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the U of A. From 2010 through 2017, she was the director of communications in the U of A College of Engineering. Camilla can be reached at camillas@uark.edu or (479) 575-7422.

University of Arkansas logo

Looking for an expert?

The University of Arkansas Campus Experts website is a searchable database of experts who can talk to the media on current events.

Trending Topics:
Elections and Voter Turnout
Midterm Elections
Arkansas Ballot Issue 1
Immigration Politics

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Getting to the Heart of What Makes Us Human

More Episodes of Short Talks from the Hill

Short Talks From the Hill logo

The University Relations Science and Research Team

Camilla Shumaker
director of science and research communications
479-575-7422, camillas@uark.edu

Matt McGowan
science and research writer
479-575-4246, dmcgowa@uark.edu

Robert Whitby
science and research writer
479-387-0720, whitby@uark.edu

DeLani Bartlette
feature writer
479-575-5709, drbartl@uark.edu

Connect with Us