The south Arkansas Fourth Congressional District has been trending Republican for some time.
Rep. Mike Ross was able to hold his seat by continuing to lean strongly toward the conservative bent of his district voting with Republicans 40 percent of the time. With the seat now open, the numbers favor Republicans in a generic ballot sense and the new lines after redistricting only strengthen this leaning.
The district voted in favor of John McCain over Barack Obama for President in 2008 by an almost 2-to-1 margin. In 2010, Republican Sen. John Boozman won in this district with a 22-point margin over then incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
Despite the Republican leaning, this one is still a toss-up until the field solidifies. As Ross and Gov. Mike Beebe have proven, Democrats can win in this district by appealing to conservative swing voters. However, this will be difficult for a Democrat to pull off in 2012 with President Obama on the ballot instead of Gov. Mike Beebe.
Cook’s Outlook – Blogger Michael Cook assesses the Fourth
Arkansas Election Line – Our first snapshot of the Fourth District race