Arkansas Governor - Hutchinson vs. Henderson



Asa Hutchinson

Asa Hutchinson (R)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Jared Henderson

Jared Henderson (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Arkansas Snapshot

RCP Ranking: Safe GOP
Key 2018 Races:

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

2016: President | Senate 
: Governor | AR-2 | AR-4
: President
2010Governor | SenateAR-1 | AR-2 | AR-4
2008: President
2006: Governor | AR-1 | AR-2 | AR-3 | AR-4
2004: President | Senate | AR-2

Polling Data

Hutchinson (R)
Henderson (D)
Final Results------65.431.7Hutchinson +33.7
Talk Business/Hendrix College*Talk Business/Hendrix College*10/18 - 10/19528 LV4.36024Hutchinson +36
The Arkansas PollThe Arkansas Poll10/1 - 10/28618 LV3.95935Hutchinson +24
Talk Business/Hendrix College*Talk Business/Hendrix College*9/5 - 9/71701 LV2.46025Hutchinson +35
Mason-DixonMason-Dixon3/21 - 3/24625 LV4.06324Hutchinson +39

Race Analysis

The ascent of the Republican Party in most Southern states usually involved some combination of three factors: a vestigial GOP left over from Reconstruction, which provided a base of support; a split in the Democratic Party between conservatives and populists; and a booming metropolis that attracted Northern Republicans southward. States with all three factors present realigned early (Virginia, Texas) while those with fewer factors took longer to fully realign (Georgia, Alabama).

Arkansas is a somewhat unique Southern state. There was a small Republican Party in the northwest, but there was never a booming metropolis attracting Northerners, and it traditionally didn't have a deep divide between conservatives and populists. The state also produced talented, centrist Democratic politicians who have managed to keep a strong coalition together in the state. As a result, Arkansas had the strongest Democratic Party in the South for most of the post-Civil Rights Act elections.

Mike Beebe governed in the tradition of these centrists and insulated himself from the general decline in the fortunes of Democratic governors across the country in the 2010 elections. But Beebe was term-limited in 2014, and Republican Asa Hutchinson won the governorship against a credible Democratic opponent.  The early polling suggests that Hutchinson starts out heavily favored for re-election.