Democratic front-runner polling well among Arkansas Dems, UA professor says


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — After Wednesday’s Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders further separated himself from a pack that includes moderates and candidates further to the center, according to polls. Though Arkansas Democrats are typically more conservative than those seen nationally, Sanders has polled well among said voters, said a UA political science professor.

“More moderate candidates like Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg have support, but Sanders is there near the top of the list,” said Dr. Andrew Dowdle. “Early polling showed Biden at No. 1 and Sanders at No. 2 [nationally]. The recent numbers show Sanders in first now.”

Sanders speaks to a populist part of Arkansas that relates to many of the policies he often talks about, Dowdle said. His ability to deviate from his party on certain issues also aids in his courting of those people.

Though some may want a more-centrist Democrat, Dowdle said he expects them to throw their support behind candidates further to the left if they get the nomination, Dowdle said.

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