Talk Business bloggers Jason Tolbert and Michael Cook assessed the outcomes of last Tuesday’s elections on this week’s edition of our television and radio programs.
Last week, Republicans won the Presidential race in Arkansas and all four of the state’s Congressional seats. They also took a majority of seats, 21, in the Arkansas Senate. And barring a recount of one race, they will hold a majority of seats, 51, in the Arkansas House.
Cook, who writes from the Democrats’ perspective, acknowledged Republican gains in the state legislature, but he said the GOP victories were far short of expectations.
“I think this is one of those pendulum swing elections where Democrats didn’t do so well, but we had everything thrown at us,” said Cook who referenced third party expenditures and the notable drag of Pres. Obama on independent voters.
“Yet Democrats were able to squeak out a number of victories that shocked Republicans,” he said.
Cook maintained that Democrats can take the House back in two years, but acknowledged the Senate may take longer.
Tolbert, who blogs from a Republican slant, said he thought the GOP advances were part of a continuing paradigm shift as Arkansas becomes a redder state.
“I think what you’re seeing in Arkansas is that voters now generically identify more with the Republican Party,” said Tolbert. “But what you saw was that the Democratic Party is still a stronger organization than the Republican Party.”
He said the Arkansas GOP is still young and will experience growing pains as it makes more gains and now asserts itself in leadership in the Arkansas House and Senate.
“The GOP still has a lot of growing to do and the Democratic Party did a good job of getting its voters to the polls,” Tolbert added.
You can view their full interview below.