The Final Push: Staring Down the Barrel of the Midterm Elections

Finally! It’s less than 90 hours until this long national nightmare of a mid-term election comes to hideous close. We can’t wait for the relative calm (maybe?) of Nov. 3, when everyone sleeps for a full day before gettin’ wound up for 2012.

Until then, we’ve got lots to do:

1) “Arkansas Week,” 8 p.m. tonight. I join KUAR-FM, 89.1’s Kelly MacNeil, the University of Arkansas’ Hoyt Purvis and host Steve Barnes for a final assessment of the state’s Congressional and constitutional officer races, such as they are. Remember that big exciting Senate race? Not so exciting heading into the final weekend. We look to the 1st District for any final fireworks. Also: Swepco’s 0-3 in court rulings. Check your local AETN station tonight or watch it online here.

2) “Today’s THV This Morning,” election day. Last week, I appeared on the noon show each day for a quick, final summary of all the Congressional races. On Tuesday’s “Morning” show, I’ll be live throughout the morning with some last-minute notes and maybe a guest or two.

3) Midterm Election Watch Party, the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. I’ll be on a panel with a couple of other yahoos to give some final impressions of this year’s campaigns. We’ll also take questions from the audience and enjoy a warm bowl of bean soup before the returns start, er, returning. Fun!

4) Election Night Returns on Today’s THV and ArkansasBusiness.com. Pop up some popcorn, grab a Coke and settle in for a long night. You’ll be on the couch, we’ll be in at the parties, on the phone, online and in studio delivering the latest election night news as it happens. Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins will analyze the county-by-county returns live on Today’s THV and THV2.com, and I’ll be manning coverage for ArkansasBusiness.com.

5) The Morning After. Hankins and I will be on “Today’s THV This Morning” and “Today’s THV at Noon” to go over the results and, maybe, What It All Means.

And if this year’s elections weren’t scary enough: Happy Halloween!

In the Firing Squad for Tonight’s AETN Governors Debate Among Mike Beebe, Jim Keet and Jim Lendall

AETN's video-heavy election page

AETN's video-heavy election page. Nicely done.

I’m among the panelists for today’s hour-long gubernatorial debate starring incumbent Mike Beebe (D), Jim Keet (R) and Jim Lendall (G). We tape the debate at 2 p.m. in Conway and it airs tonight at 8 p.m. on your local Arkansas Educational Television Network affiliate.

Also on tonight’s panel: Ron Breeding of NPR affiliate KUAR-FM and Bill Simmons of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. I haven’t seen anyone’s questions except my own, but I expect hot topics to include jobs, the economy, health care and, more than likely, state vehicles.

Each panelist gets ask two questions, so expect six questions total, plus opening and closing statements from each of the candidates.

Today’s debate is part of a series of debates airing each weeknight this week on AETN stations as well as on KUAR. Also tonight: the Lt. Governors debate between Shane Broadway (D) and Mark Darr (R), airing at 7 p.m.. And on Wednesday, Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz is on the panel for the U.S. Senate debate, and Publisher Jeff Hankins will be part of Friday’s Attorney General debate.

You can see the full schedule of this week’s debates at AETN’s Web site here.

And speaking of that site, kudos to AETN for a solid multimedia Web effort. In its excellent debates section, you can see videos of each of the debates and conversations with voters.

Update: You can watch the full debate here.

This Week in Arkansas Business: Education Department to Seek More Scholarship Money

This week in Arkansas Business:

At the rate Arkansas is awarding college scholarships, money in the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s reserve fund will run out by 2013. So director Jim Purcell says he’ll ask the Legislature this January to provide more money for scholarships or allow the department to cut the number awarded.

Meanwhile, the DHE is investigating how schools waive out-of-state tuition for certain students.

The latest list of the state’s top colleges and universities shows tuition up at most Arkansas schools.

The Log Cabin Democrat in Conway lays off two staffers, leaving a newsroom of six, in the aftermath of parent company Morris Publishing Group’s emergence from bankruptcy.

Go Red Wolves! This Arkansas State University graduate is now a VP at Verizon.

#ARElections: It’s Over! For Now

Blanche Lincoln rebuffs a strong challenge from Bill Halter in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Joyce Elliott wins big in Pulaski County to defeat Speaker of the House Robbie Wills in the primary for 2nd District Congress, Steve Womack’s votes come in from Benton County to give him a victory over Cecile Bledsoe in the lone GOP runoff for 3rd District, and voters go with Chad Causey over Tim Wooldridge in the 1st.

A round-up:

Jeff Hankins – Lincoln’s significant win, Halter’s significant failure, Wooldridge is done and unions? Good riddance.

Blanche Lincoln Beats Anger on Left, Now Must Face Right

Lincoln Won with Clinton, Anti-union Message

Womack Wins GOP Bid for 3rd District Seat

Causey Wins Democratic Nomination for East Arkansas

Elliott Tops Wills in Democratic Nod for 2nd District

UPDATE: Blanche Lincoln Wins the Democratic Nomination for U.S. Senate

Voters Sue in Garland County Over Polling Places

AP: L.J. Bryant Wins Dem Nomination for Land Commissioner

AP: O’Brien Wins Dem Nod for Secretary of State

More

The Morning After – Arkansas Times

Blanche Lincoln Wins – Sad trombone from Max Brantley

Behind closed doors, Republicans were worried about Halter in the general – Blake’s Think Tank

#ARElections: Let’s Try This Again, Shall We? Join Us for Coverage on Today’s THV Tonight

It’s deja vu all over again!

Once again, Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins and I will be on Today’s THV tonight, part of the CBS affiliate’s local election coverage.

You can catch coverage during the 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts, the latter featuring a segment with Hankins. We’ll both be aboard starting at 9 p.m. on THV’s regular network channel and its second digital channel, THV2. And of course, there will be coverage at 10 p.m. during the regular nightly newscast.

And you’ll be able to watch online. And Jeff and I will tweeting and updating ArkansasBusiness.com with analysis and news throughout the night.

We’re on Twitter at:

@JeffHankins

@LT

Hankins will be offering his analysis of the returns as they come in after polls close at 7:30 p.m., and I’ll be monitoring the online buzz and offering additional commentary. And THV reporters will be at crucial watch parties. Join us tonight and let’s get this thing over with, already.

Join Jeff Hankins and Me on Today’s THV Tuesday Night for Local Election Coverage

Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins and I will be on Today’s THV starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, part of the CBS affiliate’s local election coverage.

You can catch nonstop coverage starting at 7 p.m. on THV’s second digital channel, THV2. The affiliate will also be cutting into networking programming throughout the night — but not interrupting your favorite CBS shows, we’re told. And of course, there will be coverage at 10 p.m. during the regular nightly newscast.

You’ll be able to watch online. And Jeff and I will tweeting and updating ArkansasBusiness.com with analysis and news throughout the night.

We’re on Twitter at:

@JeffHankins

@LT

Hankins will be offering his analysis of the returns as they come in after polls close at 7 p.m., and I’ll be monitoring the online buzz and offering additional commentary. And THV reporters will be fanned out across the state for reaction at crucial watch parties. It looks to be one for the books on Tuesday night, and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Just Puttin’ That Out There: Jeff Hankins’ Election Predictions

I’m not sure I’m knowledgeable — or even brave — enough to put my Tuesday predictions out there. But give me a few hours and I night summon at least some ignorant courage.

In the meantime, check out election predictions from my boss, Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins, who’s not buying that this anti-incumbency fever now sweeping the nation will take hold in Arkansas. Among his last-minute calls:

  • Blanche Lincoln has a chance to win the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate outright tomorrow night. The case for Halter isn’t compelling enough for voters.
  • John Boozman wins outright in his bid the Republican nomination for Senate.
  • Tim Wooldridge and Chad Causey are in a runoff for Marion Berry’s old District 1 seat.
  • Robbie Wills is in a runoff with David Boling, or Joyce Elliott, in the Democratic bid for Vic Snyder’s District 2 seat.
  • Also: Faulkner County? Super-crucial in Tuesday night’s action.

To read more of Hankins’ predictions — including more reasons why business doesn’t like him! — click here.