#ARElections: Election Day in Arkansas

Bipartisan Coffee Break

(From left) Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Shane Broadway, Democratic Secretary of State candidate Pat O'Brien, Republican Governor candidate Jim Keet and Republican U.S. House candidate Tim Griffin chat over coffee after appearing on "Today's THV This Morning" live from Community Bakery.

Arkansas Business Election Guide | Today’s THV Election Guide | Video: All the AETN Debates

Don’t forget: Tonight at the Clinton School, we make final predictions then watch the returns roll in. Also: Tweet-In! Track analysis from Clinton School students under hashtag #UACS2010.

Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins joins “Today’s THV” tonight for live coverage starting at 7 p.m. See THV2.com for continuous coverage. Updates on ArkansasBusiness.com, @ArkBusiness, @JeffHankins, @LT.


#ARElections: I’ll Risk Looking Absolutely Ridiculous with These Election Day Predictions

Lance Turner on Today's THV

Click for a quick preview of Tuesday's races

(Video: Click here for a segment from Today’s THV This Morning Saturday on what to expect on Tuesday, Election Day, and here for a report on early voting from Saturday night.)

Earlier, I noted Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins’ election predictions. Others are weighing in with their’s as well. So how ’bout I play this fool’s game and give it shot, too? It’ll make our team coverage with Today’s THV on Election Night all the more interesting, as viewers can watch my on-air reaction — in real time on THV2.comas all my predictions crumble!

U.S. Senate, Democrat – With three candidates in this race, a runoff is certainly possible. And recent polls have shown incumbent Blanche Lincoln unable to cross the 50 percent mark to avoid one. But she leads Lt. Gov. Bill Halter by anywhere from 9-12 points.

Meanwhile, third-candidate D.C. Morrison polls with 6-7 percent of the vote.

All this leaves a big chunk of undecided votes. Which way do they fall?

I think most stand pat with the Devil They Know, Blanche Lincoln, a moderate who is just fine for conservative Arkansas. Her position at the top of a key committee, Agriculture, is also important to Arkansans.

But I also think Morrison gets his 6 percent of the vote — maybe more — with anti-incumbent voters casting ballots against Washington, against politics as usual. Some of that sentiment helps Halter, who moves some of the undecideds into his column.

But at the end of the night, Lincoln leads but doesn’t break 50, and she and Halter head for a runoff. Three. More. Weeks. Don’t ask me what happens after that.

Holt, on the stump in Sherwood

U.S. Senate, Republican – Here’s what’s been the conventional wisdom: U.S Rep. John Boozman ends up in a runoff with State Sen. Gilbert Baker, narrowly defeating his primary challenger for the No. 2 spot, Jim Holt. With everyone going to polls for sitting 3rd District Congressman Boozman in northwest Arkansas, Holt has little support left to draw from.

But: I think Tea Partiers and, again, the anti-incumbent voters come out strong for Holt. Meanwhile, voters in Baker’s home county of Faulkner will throw more weight in the Democratic primary due to Robbie Wills’ 2nd District House candidacy.

So I’m going to go out on a limb and say Holt, with little money and organization, will find himself in a three-week battle with Boozman starting Wednesday. Baker, with more money and better organization than Holt, is shut out in a squeaker. It’s gonna hurt.

U.S. House, District 1, Democrat – Tim Wooldridge and Chad Causey, the chief of staff of retiring District 1 Rep. Marion Berry, make the runoff.

U.S. House, District 2, Democrat – Arkansas House Speaker Robbie Wills finds himself in a runoff with State Sen. Joyce Elliott. David Boling, the chief of staff of retiring District 2 Rep. Vic Snyder, makes a respectable showing.

U.S. House, District 2, Republican – Tim Griffin wins outright versus Scott Wallace.

U.S. House, District 3, Republican – Steve Womack in a runoff with Cecile Bledsoe. Why not?

So there you have it. My first official go at Election Day predictions in Arkansas. For others prognostications, including a look at other races, check our friends at Blake’s Think Tank and The Tolbert Report.

The Warren Stephens Effect: Does His Involvement in the 2nd District Congressional Campaign Matter?

Warren Stephens

Warren Stephens, Tim Griffin's money man

Jan Cottingham of Arkansas Business asks local political experts whether it matters that Little Rock financier Warren Stephens has signed on as Tim Griffin’s finance director in Griffin’s campaign for the 2nd District Congressional seat.

Griffin announced Stephens’ role in his campaign for the Republican nomination on Friday, after incumbent Vic Snyder, a Democrat, announced he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Does Warren Stephens’ clout matter in this race, which has two other GOP candidates and now a void on the Democrat side? In short, yes. But the inevitable Democratic candidate will also enjoy strong backing from the business community.

“It’s big,” Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service, said of Stephens’ involvement in Griffin’s campaign. “It indicates that Tim Griffin’s candidacy is very serious, and it indicates strong support from the business community.”

Rex Nelson, long active in GOP politics and now a principal in The Communications Group of Little Rock, said, “I can’t think of anybody on the Democratic side with equal financial clout in Arkansas.”

Both men said, however, that whoever was chosen as the Republican and Democratic nominees would have plenty of financial support, from their parties and from area business people.

The hows and whys available here, including comments from Think Tank blogger Blake Rutherford.


Over the weekend, Arkansas House Speaker Robbie Wills indicates he might be interested in a run from the Democratic side, and Snyder’s wife comments on her husband’s decision [Arkansas Times]

Blake Rutherford says Democrats have a “deep bench” of possible candidates to step into the breach [Blake Rutherford]

Jason Tolbert on Democrat “spin” on Snyder’s retirement [The Tolbert Report]

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder Won’t Seek Re-election

Vic and friend

Synder, in more Congressy times

So here’s your Friday political bombshell: U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, with only three Republicans lining up for a crack as his seat, has decided not to seek re-election.

That rusty, whirring sound hou hear is the sound of an RSS reader full of sleepy Arkansas political blogs cranking up again!

From ArkansasBusiness.com:

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Arkansas, on Friday announced in a statement that he won’t seek re-election, citing family concerns.

The 2nd District congressman has three 1-year-old triplets and another 3-year-old son with wife, Betsy Singleton.

Three Republicans had announced they would seek Synder’s seat, former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, Scott Wallace and David Meeks.

Synder did not face a Democratic challenger.

“I have concluded that these election-year forces are no match for the persuasive and powerful attraction of our three one-year old boys under the leadership of their three-year old brother, and I have decided not to run for re-election,” Synder said in the statement …

I see via the Twitters that Griffin is on KARN radio right now trying really hard not to sound too giddy. Wallace and Meeks are probably raising a glass or three as well.

Today’s announcement comes the day after the liberal blog Firedoglake released the results of a Survey USA poll showing the incumbent 17 points behind Griffin. The poll was noted on the Firedoglake on Thursday and several Arkansas political blogs on Friday, including the Arkansas Times blog.

Synder’s statement, however, hints that the incumbent as been on the bubble for at least two weeks. He hired a campaign manager, then told him not to conduct any campaign business until he made up his mind about, er, whether to run.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Committee adding this to its “Democrats-retiring-House-in-droves narrative.”

Oh, and there’s this:

So he's got that going for him

via @GriffinCongress

Annnd, boom goes the dynamite!


Shocker! Vic Snyder Bows Out [The Arkansas Project]

Vic Snyder Not Running for Re-election [The Tolbert Report]

Vic Snyder Not Seeking Re-election [Arkansas Times]

Another Opportunity for the GOP [Cillizza]

Snyder statement after the jump …

Continue reading

The Friday Week in Review: You Lie! Edition

(via Robert Blake)

(via Robert Blake)

It’s Friday, and time for another long look back at a brutal week in politics, sports and the Web. We’re going to try for a reasoned, respectful debate here, so no shouting! But feel free to call us out in comments if we start going on about death panels. Remember: There remains some significant details to work out.

Here we go:

He’s soooo coy. Tim Griffin tells The Tolbert Report he’s seriously considering running against Vic Synder.

Kim Hendren confirms — again! — that he’s running against Blanche Lincoln just like everyone else is.

In the midst of the flap over Obama’s brainwashing speech to America’s kids, Blake Rutherford says the Republican Party has resorted to silliness. And that was before Wednesday night.

Rhett Hatcher is to iMovie as David Kinkade is to Photoshop. Artists and their canvases.

This might very well happen.

Punxsutawney Pel finally rears his head to talk about ugly sexual assault allegations involving Razorbacks basketball players but leaves the local media out of it. Meanwhile, Courtney Fortson’s tweet resurfaces (teh Internets, they don’t forget!) to add insult to injury.

Bloghawgs media baron Brett Kincaid faces off against Alice “Media Consultant * Journalist” Stewart on “Today’s THV This Morning” re: aforementioned Obama school speech tomfoolery. Punditry at its finest.

The Angry Czech on the tarnishing of The Presidentialâ„¢ brand.

Rex Nelson previews his Saturday Arkansas Democrat-Gazette column. Don’t let Walter catch you giving away that free content!

There was a Twestival in Little Rock, and it raised money for Reach Out and Read Arkansas.


Get a Compete.com account and start running the numbers

No jacket required.

The Return of the Friday Week In Review

Last week. Photo by @kthvdirector

Last week. Photo by @kthvdirector

It’s Friday! It’s time to get back down to business and take a look back at the week that was, when we so much younger, more innocent, so full of life. So without further ado:

Speaker of the House Robbie Wills packed his bags for Taiwan. But not before enjoying a tasty lunch at Copper Grill with a room full of lonely misfit bloggers.

David Kinkake is so convinced French Hill is running that he left this post at the top of his blog for three days! That, or his next Photoshopped Rutherford pic is going to be one helluva an intricate masterpiece.

Also: We too ask, Why?

This crazy bastard terrorized half the state. Of course it ended in gunfire and tragedy.

BJ Sams passed the baton, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Sarah Palin left us speechless. And then, Peggy Noonan’s takeand Tim Griffin’s.

Little Rock’s Associated Press office is all a-Twitter. Jon Gambrell signed on, too.

Zack Stovall continued to hone the hack-y art of photos with goofy captions on them, but not before ruminating on Obama, overexposure, and the political implications of lining up with a dead man — who happens to be Michael Jackson.

It was our country’s birthday.

Jeff Hankins played Steve Barnes in this latest edition of “Arkansas Week,” causing havoc at AETN with his outrageous dressing room demands.

The Simpsons continue to be more relevant than ever.

Some British comedian got a room full of rasslin’ fans in Fort Smith drunk, took advantage of them, and filmed the whole thing.

Ms. Adverthinker spent a weekend without TV and lived to tell the tale, God bless ‘er.


Carly and I discovered ShakeIt Photo

Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz began an excellent multi-part video essay on the films of Michael Mann.

This annoyed Blake.

Almost 1,000.

Lincoln Says She Won’t Vote For Card-check in Its ‘Current Form’

The Most Important Thing Ever has just happened! Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., has told a Little Rock political group that she will oppose the Employee Free Choice Act.

ArkansasBusiness.com popped the news first (and on Twitter, of course):

Lincoln’s office said the senator will release a statement on the legislation this afternoon.

“I cannot support that bill,” Lincoln said, according to one attendee. “Cannot support that bill in its current form. Cannot support and will not support moving it forward in its current form.”

The measure, better known as the “card check” bill, has been fought by business groups and championed by labor, after intense lobbying by both factions.

Republicans are already making noise about what Lincoln means by not supporting it in its “current form.” Former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, who’s said he might run for Lincoln’s seat in 2010, Twitters thusly:

Sen. Lincoln can’t support EFCA in “current form.” How is the “current form” different from the legislation she co-sponsored and later …

Blogger Jason Tolbert reacts here in a similar vein, saying Lincoln is against it “at least for today.” And Arkansas News Bureau conservative columnist and snazzy dresser David Sanders tweets: “Sen. Lincoln’s newly-minted anti-EFCA position good news for her as she begins Easter break back home.”

Political animals have been all about this situation, writing and blogging and Twittering endlessly to speculate which way Lincoln would come down on the issue, given that she’s up for re-election in 2010.

As for card-check, the legislation vehemently opposed by business, its fate appears sealed according Politico and Huffington Post. The former calls Lincoln’s “no” the legislation’s “final nail,” and the latter calls it a “devastating blow.” The AFL-CIO disagrees.