Is Arkansas on the Map?
by Jonathan Singer, Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:34:33 AM EDT
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.