A quick lunchtime peek around the margins of defeat (or victory, depending on your perspective) in the federal races and AR-Gov. All numbers are from votenaturally.org, and all numbers are subject to slight changes unless otherwise noted.
AR-Sen: John Boozman (60.38%), Blanche Lincoln (33.96%). Margin: 26.42. Analysis: Ouch. I know that Lincoln’s internals showed a gap of roughly that size, but everyone I spoke to thought that Lincoln would get inside of 20%. Guess not. The scariest part is that Lincoln’s margin of defeat theoretically could have been worse had President Clinton not stumped for her.
AR-01: Rick Crawford (53.44), Chad Causey (41.22). Margin: 12.22. Analysis: Well, Ken Adler (5.06) definitely had an impact, but not the kind of impact that cost Causey this race. Still, factor in the Adler votes and you’re talking about 7 points of difference between Republicans and Democrats in AR-01. That sounds about right given everything else we saw last night.
AR-02: Timmy! Griffin (57.84), Joyce Elliot (38.34). Margin: 19.50. Analysis: Wow. Look, I am generally not one to play the race card, and, as I said before, I felt all along that race was only going to be a hindrance for Elliott if it was a factor at all. It looks like I was right, too; can anyone honestly say with a straight face that a white candidate (and especially a white male candidate) would not have fared better against Griffin than did Elliott?
AR-03: Steve Womack (72.21), David Whitaker (27.79). Margin: 44.42. Analysis: Not even remotely a surprise. The question came up during our AEL radio spot whether Whitaker had a bright future as a Dem in this state. I said then and I say now that his viability as a candidate, assuming the Democratic Party is actually composed of Democrats, is limited to the third congressional district. Whitaker is basically D.C. Morrison without the sense of humor.
AR-04: Mike Ross (57.18), Beth Anne Rankin (40.46). Margin: 16.72. Analysis: Another non-shocking outcome. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am that Beth Anne Rankin is not representing Arkansans in Washington. We are the butt of enough national jokes as it is.
AR-Gov: Mike Beebe (64.18), Jim Keet (33.82). Margin: 30.36. Analysis: We all knew he would win. We all pretty much agreed that he’d win by a hefty margin. This one only surprises me because other Dems, especially Shane Broadway, were not able to ride Beebe’s momentum into down-ballot office. It says something about the Gov that he can win by thirty in an election where so many of his fellow Dems lost by double digits.