Chris Jones, Democratic candidate for governor, has hit the ground running with his video introducing himself.

The video has it all: Deep Arkansas; roots; hard work; family; faith; credentials and, particularly against the likely Republican nominee, warmth.


Don’t believe me.

It’s being touted nationally by huge influencers. At last count, the video had been viewed 3.7 million times since last week’s rollout. His Twitter following should top 100,000 before the day is out. (Leslie Rutledge’s campaign Twitter account has fewer than 7,000 followers. The presumed favorite, Saraha Huckabee Sanders, has more than 700,000 and, of course, backing of the man she was paid to lie for. Her announcement video has drawn 3.4 million views in four months.)


Jones’ first finance report will be telling. If the ad, helped by the national response, doesn’t stir checkbooks, I’ll be surprised.

One typical tweet, from a guy with 4.6 million followers.


And here’s an author with almost 700,000 followers.

And a singer with 350,000.


These outsiders only know what they see — an apparently sterling candidate likely to face an opponent carrying the MAGA flag. They don’t know that Arkansas has become dominated at every level by grievance, racist politics in which nominal people of faith have thrown in with a dishonest, philandering sexual predator who’s endorsed Sanders.

Can a good guy finish first in Arkansas? The conventional bet is no. But Chris Jones is smart enough to know what he’s getting into. For one thing, it’s hard to see an upside for Sanders in adopting the customary sneer-and-smear tactics of her former employer or the fart jokes and potty sarcasm of her father. Someday, too, she’ll have to talk about Arkansas, not Joe Biden, and illustrate she has a clue about governance.