Political columnist John Brummett of the Arkansas News Bureau hits the nail on the head in his Sunday column, where he explains how the Congressional redistricting map approved by the legislature aimed to benefit First District Democrats at the expense of other areas of the state.
They dipped the 1st District southward into the current 4th District, down to the Louisiana line, to pick up the Democrat-leaning counties of heavy African-American population abutting the Mississippi River.
This, in turn, necessitated that they twist the 4th District clockwise, raising it north of Interstate 40 on the northwestern side.
Trying to find Democratic votes in this conservative region of rolling hills and the Arkansas River valley, the point being to replenish those lost by the 4th to the 1st in the Delta, they tried first the Pig Trail Gerrymander to Fayetteville. Foiled there, they finally adopted a plan that runs right up the middle of Alma, putting part of that town in the 4th District and part of it in the 3rd.
Let’s be simple and clear: Sebastian County got chopped up and Alma got split in two because Democrats all the way across the state wanted a better shot at retaking their congressional seat.
You can read Brummett’s full take here.