GOP strategist Bill Vickery and Democratic activist Pat O’Brien squared off on KARK’s Capitol View to discuss the Arkansas Governor and Senate races in 2014.
Vickery said that Mike Ross’ committee vote on the federal health care law in 2009 will be an albatross on the former Congressman’s record as he seek’s the state’s top elected post.
“The issue itself is so polarizing, the numbers move so far to one side, I don’t see how the guy overcomes it,” said Vickery. “The path to the general election could be paved with gold and it doesn’t matter because that’s a killer vote.”
O’Brien countered that Ross fought in a House committee to make the bill better for small businesses and when those provisions were not inserted in the final bill he fought against the measure.
O’Brien, who narrowly lost a 2010 election for Arkansas Secretary of State, said he learned on the campaign trail that Mike Ross has his own independent political brand that will withstand some of the attacks coming his way. He also said Ross will be seeking popular Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s “third term.”
“I remember living the history in 2010,” said O’Brien. “His brand in south Arkansas worked in 2010 when the Obamacare issue was at its hottest. Mike Ross won by 17 points in the same year that Rick Crawford won by 8 and Tim Griffin wins by 20.”
The two men also weighed in on the U.S. Senate race, which will pit incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor versus first-term Republican Cong. Tom Cotton. You can view their thoughts in the video below.