A national piece from Politico today examines the Arkansas Governor’s race and whether or not the state’s Democrats will be facing a test on their viability for future offices.
If Republican gains continue in 2014 as seen in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, it will mark the third consecutive election year for GOP advances. Republicans like their chances. And while Democrats expect to be competitive this year – in large part due to a lack of competition in party primaries – some are already discussing 2016 as a potential comeback year.
January 2013 marked the first time Republicans controlled the state Legislature since 1874. If Ross loses next year, Republicans could yet again make history — they have not held both the governorship and the Legislature since that same year.
Bucking the trend is term-limited Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who enjoys one of the highest job approval ratings of Democratic governors in the country. He also swept every county in the state in his 2010 reelection, even as voters ousted incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
However, the state’s political landscape now suggests that Beebe is the exception, not the rule.
“It’s not like it used to be,” former Democratic Sen. Dale Bumpers said of Arkansas. “Republicans control politics in the state.”
Bumpers also said he likes Mike Ross’ chances to win. You can read more from Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson, two of the candidates for Arkansas Governor, and how they view this election cycle defining the state’s political climate at this link.