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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mike Beebe hits the road for Democratic candidates with legislative control in the balance

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 1:04 PM

WHAT NOW: Does an Obama or a Beebe mean more in the 2012 vote?
  • WHAT NOW: Does an Obama or a Beebe mean more in the 2012 vote?

Hey, the Koch brothers aren't the only people who can hire a bus.

Gov. Mike Beebe and the Democratic Party have announced a bus tour in Northeast Arkansas this weekend to encourage voting for Democratic legislative candidates. The release:

Governor Mike Beebe will lead the “Move Arkansas Forward” tour to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) for candidates who will work to continue our Arkansas success story by continuing to create jobs, strengthen K-12 education, cut taxes, and balance our state budget.

Event details follow. All events are open to the media and public.

Saturday, November 3, 2012
10:00 a.m.
Governor Beebe leads rally with state Senator Robert Thompson, state Representative Butch Wilkins, Harold Copenhaver, and LJ Bryant
West Washington Guest House, 534 West Washington Ave., Jonesboro

11:00 a.m.
Governor Beebe leads rally and canvass with state Senator Robert Thompson, state Representative James Ratliff, and Mary Broadaway
Centennial Park, Pruett Street, Paragould

1:00 p.m.
Governor Beebe, state Representative James Ratliff, and Scott Baltz lead rally and canvass
Courthouse/Chamber of Commerce Building, 107 East Everett Street, Pocahontas

This is as good a time as any to volunteer my feelings on where the fight for control of the legislature stands. It's the subject of our cover story this week by Lindsey Millar:

* I think Republicans sincerely believe the anti-Obama sentiment in Arkansas has produced a permanently changed Arkansas electorate, inclined toward Republicans. They sincerely believe the elections will give them a legislative majority. I also think they are spinning and exaggerating that belief because it influences media, which influences voters, and also influences campaign contributions. (To clarify what I wrote originally: I don't think they are exaggerating when they say they think they'll claim a majority. I think they are exaggerating the size of the majority.)

* I think Democrats sincerely believe their polling and their head-counting which shows them retaining a razor-thin majority in both the House and Senate. You could ascribe their lack of boasts about this to either a lack of confidence or greater honesty.

* Me? I want to believe voters don't vote automatically on state offices based on the head of the national ticket. I want to believe people recognize the economy and circumstances are getting better (including from early aspects of Obamacare now in place) and that the Romney/Ryan budget plan bodes ill for a poor state like Arkansas. But the recent Arkansas Poll finding of a pronounced lean toward the Republican Party among independent voters is both believable and ominous for those hoping for good Democratic news Tuesday night. The statewide sweep of three minor statewide offices by unknown Republicans in 2010 was a precursor. The possibility that this reflex continues on down the ballot argues more for Republican confidence than Democratic confidence. Put me down as pessimistic. As usual.

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