Diary

The Electoral Map: Arkansas

There is the House races, presidential race and a Senate race in Arkansas this year.  Although Arkansas has drifted into a solid red state of late, it should be remembered that they had a Democratic Governor very recently.  However, a Democratic Governor is more of the moderate ilk since they have to deal with a Republican legislature.

As for their four Congressional seats, they are all currently represented by Republicans and it should remain that way.  We know for certain that three of them will return to Washington since they face no Democratic opposition on Election Day.  The only contested district is the 2nd which includes Little Rock in the central portion of the state.  Currently held by freshman Congressman French Hill, the Democrats will field Dianne Curry, an African-American woman who sits on the Little Rock Board of Education.  Backed by the usual labor and education groups who flock to Democratic candidates, most pundits rate this seat safely Republican, as does this writer.

In the presidential race, one would expect Trump to win here and he likely will.  The average margin for victory for a GOP candidate since 2000 is 14.5 points.  Trump should land somewhere near that in the 12-15 point range.  Thus, we can give Trump the six electoral votes here in a state where his opposition was the wife of an ex-Governor.

That leaves only the Senate race that will pit Republican incumbent John Boozman against former US Attorney Conner Eldridge for the Democrats.  The main “problem” for Boozman is twofold.  First, he is not the most prolific of fundraisers and even though that is the truth, he has still managed to double up Eldridge in that area.  Second, Boozman is an under-the-radar type of Senator who does not make waves or headlines.  Hence, part of his reelection campaign consisted of re-introducing himself to the Arkansas electorate.

According to Morning Consult, Boozman sports a 47% approval rating, but a whopping 28% have no opinion whatsoever of him.  That is one of the highest figures among all 100 Senators.  Most polls, of which there are few, indicate a Boozman victory despite his lack of visibility.  Simply, despite the initial optimism among Democrats that Eldridge was a viable candidate, those hopes and aspirations and that optimism has evaporated to the point that the Arkansas race is now an afterthought for the Democratic Party.  All Boozman has to do is stay the course and not make any gaffes and the race is his.

After this entry, the electoral vote count 159-134 in favor of Hillary Clinton while the Senate remains in GOP control, 53-47 and likewise for the House- a 239-196 GOP advantage.

Tomorrow:  Neighboring Missouri