RCP Ranking: Leans GOP
Presidential Results: Trump +10.7 | Romney +11.8
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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 percent-43 percent. 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, winning the post in 2014). Griffin was succeeded by J. French Hill, who won the seat by eight points against a credible Democratic opponent in 2014, and by a more substantial 22-point margin in 2016.
Hill’s opponent this year, state Rep. Clarke Tucker, is more than credible, and has raised just short of a million dollars. Hill should have the advantage, but if the environment turns south for the GOP, he could come up short.