Why Tennessee’s Early Voting Should Worry Arkansas Democrats

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 56 views 

Early voting starts in Arkansas on Monday, but it has already begun in several other states.

Our neighbors in Tennessee started casting ballots this week. Jim Geraghty with National Review notes a dramatic swing in what looks like good news for Republicans.

His blog notes

While Tennessee is not competitive in 2012, these results show a complete shift in voter enthusiasm from 2008 to 2012. Total voter turnout statewide on day one of early voting was up about 10 percent compared to four years ago, but voter turnout increased 31 percent in McCain counties while it dropped 30 percent in Obama counties.

I would expect to see similar voter enthusiasm here in Arkansas with early voting numbers  Arkansas went even bigger for McCain in 2008 than Tennessee did.

Arkansas voter registration backs this up as well.  Compared to 2008, voters noting their affiliation as Republican on their registrations is up over 5,500 (52,646 up to 58,228) while for Democrats it is up by only around 1,100 (70,047 up to 71,150) — roughly a five-to-one registration advantage for Republicans.

Obama is all but assured of losing badly in Arkansas. The only question is how much does the Presidential race drive up Republican turnout in the Natural State.