Cook: Democrats In Five Counties Could Pick GOP Nominees

by Michael Cook ([email protected]) 76 views 

Many Arkansas Democrats who voted early this year have discovered there isn’t much to vote on this primary season. The lack of primaries could allow Democrats to strategically cross-over in Tuesday’s election and vote in the Republican primary for lackluster GOP candidates.

If Democrats are smart, they’d vote for the weaker Republican candidates to face off against in November. I first wrote about this topic back in April.

Under Arkansas law, it’s legal to vote in either primary and politically it makes sense for Democrats to elect Republicans who are likely easier to beat in the General Election.

The Governor’s race is the only statewide Democratic primary and that is only a perfunctory affair where Mike Ross will win handily. There are no Democratic Congressional primaries either this year.

Since my April story, I’ve viewed Democratic primary election ballots in major counties and discovered that for many counties there are no local elections to drive Democrats to the polls on Tuesday.

Here are 5 major counties with no county-wide or legislative Democratic primaries:

1) Craighead County
2) Faulkner County
3) Garland County
4) Pulaski County (Just one legislative primary to replace Rep. Darrin Williams)
5) Washington County

In all of the above counties, Democrats could make a conscious effort to cause problems for Arkansas Republicans. There are enough Democrats in these 5 major counties to make a difference in a low-turnout statewide election.

The Republican establishment has a slate of candidates they hope prevails in Tuesday’s primary. Conversely, below is the list of candidates Republican leaders don’t want as their nominees as they are weak and could be easily beaten.

Arkansas Democrats in the five major counties with no real primaries just might want to see the below slate in November.

Weak Republican Candidate Slate
Curtis Coleman

Lt. Governor
Andy Mayberry

Attorney General
David Sterling – All three GOP AG candidates are shockingly weak, but Sterling is too extreme for the general election.

State Treasurer
Dennis Milligan

State Auditor
Ken Yang

2nd Congressional District
Conrad Reynolds

The unanswered questions at this time are: Will Arkansas Democrats decide to elect weak Republican candidates? Will they vote in their own primary even if there is just one race? Or, will they stay home on Tuesday?

We’ll find out Tuesday night.