Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a 40% approval rating among Arkansas residents, according to a new Emerson College Polling survey. Governor Sanders has a 31% disapproval rating; 29% are neutral towards the Governor. The first-term governor holds a 66% approval among Republican voters, while independent voters are evenly divided: 33% approve and 33% disapprove of the job she is doing. President Joe Biden holds an 18% approval rating among Arkansas residents, while 62% disapprove of the job he is doing in office. 

Former President Donald Trump leads President Biden in a potential 2024 matchup, 57% to 24%. Ten percent would vote for someone else and 9% are undecided. 3 in 5 Trump voters (60%) say there is nothing Trump could do or say in the next several months that would make them choose not to support the former president in 2024. Eighteen percent note there is something he could do to make them change their mind. 

This compares to 35% of Biden supporters who cannot think of anything to make them change their mind, while 30% can think of something Biden could do or say to make them choose not to support him for president in 2024. 

Residents were asked if Donald Trump is the 2024 nominee, if he should choose his former press secretary as his running mate, or if he should choose someone else. A third of residents (33%) think Trump should choose someone else, while 29% say it depends on who else is considered, and 20% think he should choose Sanders. Residents in South Dakota were asked the same question of their Governor Kristi Noem. 

“Just over a third, 34%, of Arkansas Republican voters think Sanders should be chosen as the 2024 running mate to Donald Trump if he is the nominee, while 26% of Republicans think he should choose someone else,” Kimball noted.

A plurality of Arkansas residents view the way Joe Biden won the 2020 election as stolen (49%), while 36% think the president won fair and square. Looking back to 2016, 64% of Arkansas residents think Trump won fair and square, while 17% think he stole the 2016 election. 

Midwest Study: The Arkansas general election survey is part of a 22-state study on the Midwest region and surrounding states. Additional states will be released over the week, along with the study results by the Middle West Review that is researching perceptions of the Midwest region.


The Emerson College Polling Arkansas poll was conducted October 1-4, 2023. The sample consisted of 435 Arkansas voters with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points; the sample of Arkansas residents is n=483 with a credibility interval of 4.4 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, race, party, and education based on the general population. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and Arkansas voter turnout data by regions (AR SOS). Data was collected by contacting a list of landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer. 

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.