Who was the biggest loser last night in Arkansas politics?
For me, that would be the billionaire-backed Americans for Prosperity.
Americans for Prosperity spent more than a million dollars, that we know about, in an attempt to take control of both of Arkansas’s legislative chambers. Republicans did take control of the Senate, but House control is still in doubt at this writing.
However, looking at the results of legislative races it appears that Americans for Prosperity had a massive failure in winning their targeted races. By my count, it appears that AFP lost a whopping 20 races they competed in. There may be more they lost, but those are the ones I could track down. Below is a list of legislative races AFP apparently targeted, but lost.
The big story on the post-election is not that Republicans took control of one, maybe two legislative chambers. It’s how Arkansas Democrats, after being outspent by more than 3-to-1 and facing a 13-point deficit on the generic legislative ballot poll question, were able to dramatically outperform all predictions and created a pathway to retake any losses. And Democrats were able to do this with the albatross of Barack Obama hanging around their necks.
If Republicans do win the recount, they only hold a 51-vote majority in the House — a majority, but barely.
In the House and Senate, Arkansas is closer in partisan make-up than any other legislative chamber in the nine southern states but one. In 2014, Arkansas Democrats could easily take back the House and chip away at the 7-vote majority Republicans hold in the Senate.
As I said in my previous post, 2012 in Arkansas was a pendulum swing election, not a paradigm shift.
AFP Legislative Losses:
Brent Talley v Sharon Wright (3)
Charles Roberts v. Mike Holcomb (10)
Garland Derden, Jr. v. David Hillman (13)
Michael A. Jones, Sr. v. John T. Vines (25)
Loy Mauch v. David Kizzia (26)
Alan L. Pogue v. Jim Nickels (41)
Wes Eddington v. Mary Broadaway (57)
Jon Hubbard v. Harold Copenhaver (58)
John R. Cooper v. Butch Wilkins (59)
Lori Benedict v. Scott Baltz (61)
Roger Delffs v. Tommy Wren (62)
Jeff Croswell v. Tommy Thompson (65)
Rocky Lawrence v. Steve Magie (72)
Mary Bentley v. John Wayne Catlett (73)
Paul Graham v. David Whitaker (85)
Gary Meggs v. Sheilla E. Lampkin (9)
Linda Collins-Smith v David Wyatt (19)
Blake Johnson v Robert Thompson (20)
Mike Akin v Eddie Cheatham (26)
Henry L. Frisby II v Bobby Pierce (27)