Via Talk Business, here are the final Arkansas Election Line ratings:
For the U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and statewide constitutional offices, here are our final thoughts:
U.S. Senate – Leans GOP
GOP Primary – Safe Boozman
Dem Primary – Toss Up
U.S. Congress – District 1 – Leans Dem
GOP Primary – Safe Crawford
Dem Primary – Leans Wooldridge (runoff likely)
U.S. Congress – District 2 – Toss Up
GOP Primary – Leans Griffin
Dem Primary – Leans Wills (runoff likely)
U.S. Congress – District 3 – Safe GOP
GOP Primary – Leans Womack (new rating)
Dem Primary – Whitaker unopposed
U.S. Congress – District 4 – Safe Dem
GOP Primary – Toss Up
Dem Primary – Ross unopposed
Lieutenant Governor – Leans Dem
GOP Primary – Leans Darr (new rating)
Dem Primary – Broadway unopposed
Secretary of State – Leans Dem
GOP Primary – Martin unopposed
Dem Primary – Leans O’Brien (new rating – runoff possible)
Land Commissioner – Leans Dem
GOP Primary – Thurston unopposed
Dem Primary – Toss Up (new rating – runoff likely between Davenport and Bryant)
Thoughts? Well, in the U.S. Senate race, I know I’ve said it before, but I just can’t get on board with the “Leans GOP” idea. Not when the seat has been so overwhelmingly blue over the last 150 years. Yes, I know that Lincoln polls poorly against the GOP contenders, especially Boozman, but I just don’t see it happening. If her campaign has shown us anything, it is that she can rally far more support than you would expect if you were looking only at her favorability ratings. On the flipside, I think Halter is facing his toughest challenge right now and that he would beat any of the GOP candidates. So, my guess is that the “Leans GOP” rating is based on the idea that Lincoln v. Boozman is the most likely matchup, but I think it’s much closer to a toss-up at this point.
In the separate races, I do think Lincoln finishes ahead of Halter tomorrow night, but not with a majority. I’m guessing a 4-point margin, with D.C. Morrison snagging 8% of the vote. On the other side, I think Boozman blows everyone away, but that the field is just deep enough that he will not get to 50%+1, setting up a runoff between him and Jim Holt.
In AR-01, Roby thinks that Chad Causey is the most likely candidate to be in a run-off with noted horrible person Tim Wooldridge. To which I would say, if AR-01 picks a homophobe and someone who (poorly) channels Larry the Cable Guy in a campaign ad, they should have some serious ‘splainin’ to do. Ben Ponder and BHR endorsee David Cook are both far better candidates than either Wooldridge or Causey, and it will be somewhat depressing to see the latter two still alive at the end of tomorrow night. That said, unfortunately, I think Roby is right. My hope is that Cook surprises tomorrow night like he surprised in the early AR-01 polls, but I am doubtful that it happens. (On the GOP side, “Safe Crawford” is an understatement. You, the reader, have as much chance as Princella Smith does.)
Here in the second district, I agree completely that the overall race is a toss up at this point. On the Democratic side, conventional wisdom is a runoff between Robbie Wills and either Joyce Elliott or David Boling. Boling has been rather ubiquitous on my drive to and from work of late, so I suppose that’s possible, but I can’t get his uber-poor showing in the first poll out of my head, nor can I overlook the better-than-Ambien effect of his commercials. Also, and again using past as prologue, there is a reason (however bad that reason is) that Arkansas has never elected a black person to Congress (or to a statewide office, for that matter). Even the front-runner, Wills, still has to account for the Baker effect on voters in Conway/Faulkner County, and your guess is as good as anyone’s as to how that will play out. Finally, and this could totally be wishful thinking on my part, I think BHR endorsee John Adams is the X-factor here; he was an unknown quantity in the initial polling, but he performed well at the debates by all accounts and should see a corresponding jump in support. I’m saying Wills finishes first, Patrick Kennedy finishes last, and the other three are a toss-up in the middle. Life on the line, I’d say Boling sneaks into the runoff, but just barely.
On the GOP side of AR-02, Timmy! Griffin v. Scott Wallace seems to lean pretty heavily toward the Rove devotee. I noticed that Wallace slapped some “Is Not Washington” stickers on his campaign signs recently, but I haven’t seen the Timmy!-qua-Washington-insider angle getting much traction. We’re talking about a perpetually blue seat; I don’t think red voters are going to shy away from a guy with ties to Washington D.C. if they think he is more likely to win in November.
AR-03 is only interesting on the Republican side, and the new result of “Leans Womack” makes it all the more interesting. Gunner DeLay, despite early name recognition and a jacked-up message about civil disobedience in the face of HCR, has fallen flat, and it looks like Womack or Cecile Bledsoe will win that race. I fully expect a runoff there, too, as Womack and Bledsoe both hail from Rogers, which should keep either from snagging 50%+1 of the vote.
As to the final federal race, AR-04’s GOP race is whatever the polar opposite of a battle of wits is. Either Glenn Gallas or Beth Anne Rankin could win that race, but neither can come within 30 points of beating Mike Ross in November, so I don’t particularly care one way or the other. I suppose I am rooting slightly for Gallas just because he has provided a good deal of fodder for BHR lately.
Quick-and-dirty on the statewide races: I think Pat O’Brien beats the King of Sandwiches without a runoff, I think Mark Darr wins the GOP nomination for Secretary of State over Donnie Copeland (but loses handily to Shane Broadway in November), and I think BHR endorsee L.J. Bryant finishes first tomorrow night and wins the runoff against Luddite Monty Davenport on June 8.