Election watch — UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Election watch — UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 7:15 PM

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As I mentioned before, I'll be joining Fox 16 for election coverage tonight. I'll try to inject some news and comment here, but readers will be mostly on their own following the usual sources, from secretary of state to TV such as Fox 16 and newspapers and Pulaski County election commission for updated results.

Not excited about much except curiosity over how Obamacare fares in the Republican primary.

Developing story: More and more readers appear to have had the Voter ID law illegally applied to them today. Despite clear instructions in the law to the contrary, many voting clerks are apparently running a pop quiz with voters on their driver's licenses. The law allows clerks to ask for address and birth date to look up a voter's name and THEN ask for ID. The ID is only to be checked as to name and photo. The question of birthday and address are to be addressed before the ID is presented.

If somebody has been denied a vote on this account I hope they'll get in touch with me or the ACLU. This is a bad law made worse if it is happening.

UPDATE: The early Pulaski County vote is in and there are few surprises against my early predictions, except:

GOP TREASURER: Dennis "What We Need is Another 9/11" Milligan has a small lead over Duncan Baird. Milligan likely will gain more ground in Saline, his home county. Baird will need strong votes in NWA. Make that the STATE needs strong votes for Baird in NWA.

SUPREME COURT: Tim Cullen, beaten to a pulp on Little Rock TV, has a small lead over Robin Wynne. For whatever that might mean against the balance of the state.

I think you can call it for Mike Ross, 89-10 leader in early vote here.

UPDATE It's Ross v. Hutchinson in December. My piercing observation: The election is about who DID NOT vote tonight.

Committed Republicans voted in a heavy primary. Committed Democrats voted out of habit on a light ballot. The numbers were not so far apart as anticipated. But turnout was only expected to be 20 percent or so. Something like 45 to 50 percent of registered voters may vote in November. How will they split.

Potential good news for Democrats: They have a tremendous candidate for treasurer, Karen Garcia of Hot Springs. But if Dennis "What We Need Is Another 9/11" Milligan wins, it will be a gift, an extremist prize. He's in a tight race with Duncan Baird, a sharp and respected state legislator with investment experience.

Likewise attorney general. If David Sterling, the most extreme candidate wins, it's good for Nate Steel, the Republican. He's safe on gun issues (sorry to say). But this one could be one of the night's few runoffs.

Obamacare/private option is a mixed bag: Milligan ran as a foe. In the big Senate races, one PO backer (Sample) is leading and one (Holland) is trailing. Rep. John Burris is in runoff territory with PO foe Scott Flippo for Senate. A House Republican who voted for PO, John Hutchison, is trailing an anti-PO opponent in the GOP primary, with a strong Democratic candidate in waiting. Sue Scott, a Republican PO voter in Rogers, is leading a Tea Party challenger narrowly.

Bobby Altes, a Republican candidate scarred by personal scandal, is trailing Matt Pitsch in a House primary in Fort Smith.

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