Is Arkansas on the Map?

The Pollster.com trend estimate out of Arkansas has John McCain leading Barack Obama by about 12 points, but could this once blue now red state come back to the Democratic fold in 2008? If Bill Clinton has any say, Arkansas might actually be in play this fall (h/t Ben Smith).

Former President Bill Clinton will join Gov. Mike Beebe, state Democratic Party Chairman David Pryor and former U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers in a series of rallies for Barack Obama this week, the Democratic Party of Arkansas announced Wednesday.

The get-out-the-vote rallies will be held in North Little Rock on Friday and in Pine Bluff and Jonesboro on Saturday. The times and exact locations of the events have not been determined.

[...]

Former Arkansas first lady Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., headlined a rally for Obama in Little Rock on Oct. 10.

Arkansas isn't going to be one of the states to get Obama to 270 electoral votes -- or even 300 or 350, most likely, were he to hit those marks -- but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a coup for him to prevail in the state, or that it wouldn't matter. George W. Bush was successful in wresting Arkansas out of the Democratic column in 2000, and keeping it red in 2004 (by about 10 points), so it would be no small feat for Obama to bring it into the Democratic column, one that would help Obama make the argument that there is a broad-based mandate for progressive change. So a win in Arkansas is not at all necessary for Obama -- but it wouldn't be a bad thing, either.

Update [2008-10-25 19:47:28 by Jonathan Singer]: As Markos notes in the comments, recent Research 2000 polling he commissioned finds a race that's not so close, 52 percent to 41 percent (pretty much in line with the Pollster.com trend estimate.

Tags: AR-Pres, Arkansas, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, White House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

8 Comments

Upper South

I think Arkansas can flip pretty quickly under the tide of a national trend like Obama is experiencing over McCain. I would say the same for Kentucky and even Tennessee, but the racial aspect may continue to be an impediment for the South.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-10-25 11:48AM | 0 recs
Not the South, Appalachia

Not the South, Appalachia.  The Racial issue is not a Southern problem.   Most of the White people in the deep South who will not vote for a Black man would also never vote for a Democrat, so it doesnt matter.  No Democrat would ever win those voters.
However, in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennesee and Arkansas there are plenty of people who would vote for a Democrat but still would never vote for a Black man.   This was very evedent in the primaries.

Obama will win Georgia, North Dakota, Montana and Maybe even Arizona before he won any of the Appalachian states.  Obama would have to be approaching Lyndon Johnson victory before he could flip those states.

by gavoter 2008-10-25 02:16PM | 0 recs
Can the Big Dog do it?

If the "Big Dog" can do it, that would bring him huge cred in the party and the Obama administration.

by cmpnwtr 2008-10-25 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Arkansas on the Map?

Well he needs AR and GA for 400 EV so I say go for it. Crush the republicans everywhere!

by newms 2008-10-25 01:01PM | 0 recs
No.

Almost every poll has it double digits, including one from october. Obama has no ground game there. Not going to happen.

by oyo 2008-10-25 01:23PM | 0 recs
Not according to my latest R2K poll

52-41 McCain.

Kind of disappointing. I was hoping for much better.

by kos 2008-10-25 01:40PM | 0 recs
If Hillary comes down here, maybe. Otherwise no.
If Hillary makes a campaign stop in Northwest Arkansas and in Little Rock, Arkansas could easily be flipped. Short of that, there is no way in hell Arkansas will go for Obama. 1 in 5 Arkansans now believe that Barack Obama is a seekrit muslim - almost twice the national average. Over half of Arkansans back John McCain for president, while only about a third back Obama - with the rest undecided. A majority say they would have voted for Hillary Clinton if she had been on the ballot instead of Obama. Those with a negative view of Obama cited three main factors: (1) Seekrit muslimness, (2) race, and (3) hurt feelings from Obama's primary victory over Hillary this Spring. Go Arkansas! We're number 1! At.... believing Obama is .... a seekrit muslim..... /facepalm
by ofus 2008-10-25 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Arkansas on the Map?

Having just attended the rally in Jonesboro, AR, I think AR could well flip by election day. Nearly 3000 people turned out for the rally from all across AR. Everyone was talking about all the new voter registrations. 1700 in one county, 2500 in another, 20,000 in LR's Pulaski County. Most of these new voters are very motivated to vote Obama and they aren't being counted in polls.

Don't write off AR just yet. I think we're going to surprise a lot of pollsters on Nov. 4th.

by GLP72315 2008-10-25 05:27PM | 0 recs

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