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Arkansas 2nd District - Hill vs. Hays


Patrick Henry Hays

Patrick Henry Hays (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

French Hill

French Hill (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Arkansas Snapshot

RCP Ranking: Toss Up
2014 Key Races: Governor | SenateAR-4

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2010Governor | Senate | AR-1 | AR-2 | AR-4
2008: President
2006: Governor | AR-1 | AR-2 | AR-3 | AR-4
2004: President | Senate | AR-2

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEHays (D)Hill (R)Spread
Final Results------43.651.9Hill +8.3
Talk Business Poll*10/15 - 10/16605 LV4.04642Hays +4
Talk Business Poll*7/22 - 7/25483 LV4.54344Hill +1

Race Analysis

10/21/14 -- The latest poll shows Hays with a lead over Hill. This district is the most liberal one in the state, and for years sent a relatively progressive Democrat to Congress. It would still be an upset if Hays won under these conditions, but it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility.

----------Race Preview----------

Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District is based around Little Rock and its suburbs. The only truly urban area of the state, it was also the first area to move toward the Republicans (outside of the historically Republican Ozark Mountains). It elected a Republican from 1978 through 1984, and nearly did so again in 1996, even as Bill Clinton was carrying the district handily.

From 1996 through 2010, the district was represented by Democrat Vic Snyder. Snyder compiled a fairly liberal voting record, and rarely received more than 60 percent of the vote. On the heels of his support for cap-and-trade legislation and health care reform, Public Policy Polling showed Snyder leading former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin by only a point, 44-43. Snyder promptly retired, and Griffin won the seat handily.

But Griffin’s tenure in Congress was brief: He announced his retirement after only two terms (he subsequently became the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor). Republicans nominated former White House aide French Hill to succeed Griffin, while Democrats went with former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays. A recent Talk Business Poll showed the Republican with a slight one-point lead, but given the makeup of the district, he still has to be considered the favorite, if not an overwhelming one.