Look how far we’ve come.
Just a few months ago, folks weren’t paying attention to us. Now, an overwhelming consensus of election experts say this is one of the closest races in the country.
— Joyce Elliott (@xjelliott) November 2, 2020
Arkansas is a given Trump state, the only drama being the size of his victory.
But down the ballot, there’s much of interest.
Marquee race: 2nd District Congress, where Democratic state Sen. Joyce Elliott has run a flawless, positive campaign against a slashing and dishonest response by the millionaire banker French Hill, the incumbent Republican. He sounds nervous. I have a hard time believing she can do better than past strong Democratic candidates (Pat Hays and Clarke Tucker) and pick up sufficient support in the six outlying counties to go with a big margin in Pulaski. But if you live in Saline, Faulkner, White, Conway, Perry or Van Buren counties; are tired of Trump and his enablers, and want to make a bit of political history, now’s your chance. Vote. Polls close at 7:30 p.m.
Ballot issues: The Arkansas Poll says voters will approve the sales tax increase to give the unaccountable Arkansas Department of Transportation a steady stream of general revenue to spend unwisely (Issue 1) and also give an undeserving legislature an end to term limits (Issue 2). Maybe they’ll defeat Issue 3, a product of the same Republican legislature/special interest lobby cabal beyond Issues 1 and 2, to kill popular ballot petitions. We still say 1, 2, 3 NO!
ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL: An absence of lots of local races is thought to be a help to Joyce Elliott in the Republican counties. But there’s some good stuff in Pulaski that might spur turnout in the Democratic-favoring county, the state’s most populous.
- A hot race for North Little Rock mayor.
- Three at-large races for Little Rock City Board. The guessing seems to center around whether, in a crowded field, Antwan Phillips can recreate the unity coalition that lifted Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and defeat Alan Dubbus, who enjoys support from the Republican voter niche. There is no runoff; top vote-getter wins.
- Four runoffs for open circuit court judgeships.
- Nine contests for state legislative seats that cover parts of Pulaski County, at least a half-dozen with hard-working, well-organized sterling candidates mounting legitimate challenges in Republican districts. (There are several similarly good Democratic candidates in other regions. There’ll be no change of the strong Republican majority in House and Senate this election, but any gain of seats would be nice for Democrats. And it would be particularly nice if an undistinguished candidate with a KKK robe in his high school closet and nothing to recommend him except the “R” after his name is soundly defeated by the solid Democratic incumbent Sen. Bruce Maloch of Magnolia. The same drubbing would be welcome for a professional politico from Asa Inc. who is challenging Democratic Sen. Eddie Cheatham of Crossett and for a questionable character trashing Rep. LeAnne Burch of Monticello.)
- The first Little Rock School Board election in six years, with Billionaire Boys Club charter school money reflected in endorsements by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and true local control promised by exceedingly well-qualified candidates endorsed by the Little Rock Education Association and the Arkansas Times. If you haven’t voted, they are:
- ZONE 3: Evelyn Hemphill Callway
- ZONE 5: Ali Noland
- ZONE 6: Vicki Hatter
- ZONE 7: Ryan Davis
- ZONE 8: Greg Adams
- ZONE 9: Kieng Vang-Dings
The presidential race tops all. I’ll consider it a good night if the Arkansas Poll missed the mark and Arkansas gives Trump less than 60 percent of the vote. And it also would be nice if Libertarian Ricky Harrington, an unknown with scant money, can get 30 percent or more to tarnish radical Republican Sen. Tom Cotton’s march to the 2024 presidential race.