Stateline.org reviews the political trajectory of 11 first-term governors, including our Mike Beebe, elected in 2006. It concludes:
The star of the class may be Beebe. His approval ratings have ranged from 70 percent to 80 percent, and not from avoiding controversy. Working with the Democratic Legislature — which sometimes had strained relations with his predecessor, Republican Mike Huckabee — Beebe has slashed the sales tax on groceries in half, increased school funding and raised the severance tax on natural gas for the first time in decades. Winning the severance-tax fight meant facing down the energy industry and securing a three-fourths majority in both chambers.
Beebe learned state government over more than two decades, serving as a state senator and later as attorney general. “It’s highly unusual for a governor to win all of the battles with legislators here, but Beebe hasn’t lost one — large or small — yet,” said Carmie Henry, a utility lobbyist in Little Rock. Beebe is considered a lock for re-election.
Coincidentally, I can’t remember one the utility lobby has lost either.