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The line is open

Posted by Max Brantley on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Whew. I'm ready for a nap. Over to you. Some final words:

* US SENATE, THE NEWS IS GOOD: Democrats have 55 seats, counting a friendly independent, in the Senate, thanks to additional wins in North Dakota! and Montana! Is that enough to confirm some Supreme Court nominees?

* VOTER ENTHUSIASM: Last report I saw from AP indicated voter turnout this year was about 65 percent of Arkansas's registered voters, about the same as 2008. In other words, the record early vote was more about time shifting than enthusiasm.

* ANTI-INCUMBENT ENTHUSIASM: Racially polarized and anti-incumbent voting distinguished the re-election of at-large members of the Little Rock Board of Directors, all of the three giving up 39 to 53 percent of the vote despite huge campaign treasuries and generally anonymous opposition. The message in this should give cause to reconsider our form of government that discriminates against poor and minority neighborhoods in a non-democratic city government. But we won't, precisely because the wealthy white power brokers prefer this balance of power.

* GRANULAR ELECTION RESULTS: The Pulaski County Election Commission has precinct-by-precinct results at its website. Click the precincts returns and find your number or polling place. They got results out last night in the best fashion I can recall, particularly for a big presidential election and particularly after some machine problems early in the day.

* HAPPY DAYS NOT HERE AGAIN: Dow dropped 312 points today. Bad news in Europe.


* REMEMBER BRYANT MAYOR JILL "REPUBLICAN" DABBS?: Says here her candidates for City Council got whupped and mama ain't happy.

* THE DEMOCRATIC SPIN CYCLE: Losers naturally try to put the best face possible on losses, even after gracious concession speeches. With that in mind, I thought I'd share on the jump some notes I've gotten from Democrats deeply involved in the Tuesday elections who were looking for silver linings. Also find there Rep. Darrin Williams' statement kind of indicating he'd still be happy to serve as House speaker some Republicans decide not to vote for someone from their party so as to let his preliminary selection stand.


Rs made gains state-wide but suffered setbacks in Northeast Arkansas.

The Rs and outside groups poured hundreds of thousands of dollars in media and mail to defeat two Senate candidates, but lost both races.

They also made strong efforts to defeat incumbent House members James Ratliff in Lawrence County, Tommy Wren in Fulton County (and a likely candidate for future statewide office) and Butch Wilkins in Craighead County. The Ds won these races. The R effort to defeat James McLean in Batesville was more tepid given the background of Charlie Fuqua, and McLean won big.

Two of the nastiest and most blatantly racist Republican House members — Lori Benedict and Jon Hubbard, lost to mainstream D challengers Scott Baltz (Pocahontas fire chief) and Harold Copenhaver (local insurance salesman and Baptist deacon).

Rs also suffered setbacks at the county level in Greene and Craighead Counties. Rs made strong pushes for county offices in these two counties — notably Greene County Judge and Craighead County Sheriff, but came up short across the board.


Dustin McDaniel had a hand in this. He created and personally raised the money for an independent committee that spent resources in the races in Northeast Arkansas. He spent maybe $50,000, a pittance compared to the Koch brothers but not bad considering that most of it was spent in the last 10 days. It’s also important to note that this $50,000 came almost entirely out of Jonesboro, not from out of state. Money is money but I think it’s different when an independent group is funded by local businessmen in Jonesboro who are appalled by the Jon Hubbards and Linda Collins-Smiths of the world, rather than being funded by two billionaires from Kansas.


Actually dust is settling and the damage here is salvageable.

Arkansas is competitive and a two-party state. We are not MS, AL or GA. There is likelihood we can swing back and win here.

We won races in deep red parts of the state. Vines, Wren, Kizzia, Overby, Catlett, etc.. And lost in areas where the candidates should have won but had weak personalities.

The sea wall was 10 ft and the flood came in at 10.4 inches. Water came over and caused damage in the basement, subfloor and dry wall but didn't wash away the house. We will rebuild those damaged areas and get ready to live another day.

Opportunities for wins still exist. Barry Hyde, new candidate in Miller County, non presidential turnout in Conway, and new and more aggressive candidate in Cross County. Two-year versus four-year drawings will create the strategy there. Won't get this all back at once but with a good candidate in 2016 (i.e. Hillary!!!!) we could see a play to get more back in a better environment.

All in all the R's were saying 60+++ in the House (hell they even said 70) and they got 51 in the HIGHEST WATER MARK EVER!!!

24++ in the Senate and they will just cover 20+/-.

Not saying i'm happy but i see a pathway in the weeds.


Speaker-designate Darrin Williams on Arkansas legislative elections:

“First and foremost, I want to thank all of the candidates who ran this year. Public service is a noble calling, and our democracy only works when good people decide to make the sacrifice of time, money and energy to serve. This year’s House elections have been among the closest, most expensive and divisive campaigns in our state history. And today the outcome in District 52, and therefore the balance of power in the House, is still in question.

Regardless of the outcome, I pledge, as I did back in March when my colleagues elected me Speaker-designate, to work with each member to move our state forward and continue the progress we have already achieved in so many areas.

The Speaker has always served at the will of the majority of the membership and there should be no difference in the 89th General Assembly, regardless of which party holds the majority in the House of Representatives. I reaffirm my pledge to put the state’s needs first and to work to make Arkansas an even better place for this generation and the next. I also want to thank the fine people of District 36, who have again re-elected me to serve them. It is my honor to do so."

Comments (35)

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How about a more positive (apolitical) note:

"...developed by AOL, showcasing hundreds of compelling stories from women of today and tomorrow. This historic video initiative features exclusive access to trailblazing women – both known and unknown."

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Posted by YossarianMinderbinder on 11/07/2012 at 4:01 PM

For youse guys losing your hair, a less positive note:

"The team analyzed data collected from participants in a large study of heart disease, noting whether subjects developed heart disease and also whether they had any of six signs of aging: baldness at the crown of the head, receding hairline at the temples, gray hair, wrinkles, earlobe crease and fatty deposits around the eyelids.

"The amount of gray hair and wrinkles subjects had didn’t make a difference, but people who had at least three of the other four aging traits studied had a 57% increased risk for heart attack and a 39% increased risk for heart disease when other risk factors were taken into account."…

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Posted by YossarianMinderbinder on 11/07/2012 at 4:04 PM

The great R Deluge began in 2010 not in 2012. I could see then Demos were not ready but I could not see the million$ coming from the Koch's, only from the Waltons and their hundreds of thousands they have been pumping into R races in the Land of Opportunity.

In Washington County R's took four County offices: county clerk, circuit clerk, assessor and collector offices. Sheriff and County Judge remain Democratic.

Mark Martin & Co can begin their purge of voter registration rolls in the County with the most Hispanic registrations.

In other news...Mary Ann (Last Shot) Gunn lost the judicial candidate she supported for District 4, Div 4 Circuit Court which was Bob Lambert who began his campaign at Tea-Party Central in Springdale. Gunn's numerous TV ads didn't work to upend Cristi Beaumont, a Fayetteville attorney who had previously supported Last-Shot Gunn and worked for her.
Some were speculating that Gunn was aiming for new supporting cast for her TV show.

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Posted by eLwood on 11/07/2012 at 4:05 PM

Great article in "Why Mitt Romney Lost: A Simple, Overriding Theory"

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Posted by Sound Policy on 11/07/2012 at 4:16 PM



"And what would you call Joe Bidens performance Verla? What's wrong for the conservative is applauded and lauded for the liberal. Liberals just can't handle someone approaching the anointed one with facts and questions.

This election will prove once again that liberalism fails. I can't wait to see the finger pointing and dumbfounded looks of the liberal after the great savior Obama gets beat by 5-8 points. As much as the liberal thinks the world is on their side, unfortunately for them people still want to work in America. They don't want some elitist telling them how to live their life. Obama is one of the greatest disasters this country has ever seen. Hopefully Mitt and co. Can correct the damage.

9 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by B Rock Sucks on 10/19/2012 at 8:23 AM

"OBAMA NOT GOOD FOR US: Jane, very good article. Thank God we only have to put up with him for less than 90 more days before Romney is inaugurated.

Posted by: footballfan

October 21, 2012 at 8:35 a.m"

and my favorite:

"Greg [Leding] will win his district hands down in 2012. I'm taking bets in case there's any doubts."

You're on eLwood. You want to bet some adult beverages? Can't wait to win the bet and remind the voters early and often how Greg tried to screw Fayetteville.

Posted by scrapper72 on August 21, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Report this comment"…
see House District 86

I would like a couple of Scotch and sodas scrapper. Tonight will be good at the Dickson St Comedy Club, open mic, let me know if you will 'man up' and make good.

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Posted by eLwood on 11/07/2012 at 4:41 PM

Guess who is unhappy photo

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Posted by Cato on 11/07/2012 at 4:44 PM

I thought I would be in before Cato.

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Posted by the outlier on 11/07/2012 at 4:51 PM

Lessons learned this election cycle:
If you're a racist mysogynist don't broadcast it.
If you're an Ark. Democrat try to sound meaner.
If you're an Arkansas Repug, even if it hurts, try to sound nicer.
If you're an Arkansas voter, all hope is lost.

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Posted by Jabberwocky on 11/07/2012 at 5:10 PM

Time to listen to Carlin again. I don't share his dark view that it will never change.

Sunshine and others: That big club that George talks about? You ain't in it.

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Posted by the outlier on 11/07/2012 at 5:16 PM

We, as a nation, spent billions of dollars, as in thousands of millions of dollars, on this election cycle where the ultimate result was that things essentially stayed the same. I postulate that since the Koch's, the donators to the super PACs, the elite Right, and the rest of the idle rich have so much dough to throw away on a losing effort to buy an election and suppress votes, then they can sure as hell afford a significant tax hike on income (from all sources dammit, not just earned income) over $250,000 to pay down the national debt and balance that budget that they're so concerned about. Their quality of life won't go down, I promise.

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Posted by MarcKyle1964 on 11/07/2012 at 5:16 PM

I am proud that my fellow Democrats remained civil before AND after the election. My Republican friends were very rude and boorish before AND after the election. I was honestly shocked at how many absolutely hateful posts there were from my Republican friends this morning.

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Posted by Artificial Inteligence on 11/07/2012 at 5:30 PM

elwood, you might find this interesting:…

Intrade, one of the prediction markets, had significantly lower odds for Obama than all the others.

Posted by Gylippus on 11/07/2012 at 5:36 PM

Gyl, Maybe you did not see the Atlantic Wire's comparison of all the predictors.

Posted by YossarianMinderbinder on 11/07/2012 at 5:51 PM

History on this date, 7 November:

1944-President Franklin D. Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term in office, defeating Thomas E. Dewey.

1893-Passage of a referendum made Colorado the first state to grant women the right to vote.

1916-Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress.

2000-Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York, becoming the first first lady to win public office.

1962-Richard M. Nixon, who failed in a bid to become governor of California, held what he called his last press conference, telling reporters, "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore."

1972-President Richard M. Nixon was re-elected in a landslide over Democrat George McGovern.

1973-Congress over-rode President Richard M. Nixon's veto of the War Powers Act.

1998-House Speaker Newt Gingrich resigned following an election in which the Republican House majority shrunk from 22 to 12.

2009-The Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed, 220-215, landmark health care legislation to expand coverage to tens of millions who lacked it and placed tough new restrictions on the insurance industry.

2000-Republican George W. Bush was elected president over incumbent Democratic Vice President Al Gore, though Gore won the popular vote by a narrow margin. The winner was not known for more than a month because of a dispute over the results in Florida.

1918-William Franklin Graham, Jr was born on a farm near Charlotte, N.C. while his father was tending their herds of cattle.

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Posted by eLwood on 11/07/2012 at 5:55 PM

Ha. well at least outlier, yours showed up, mine only went to the source. Here's another attempt.…

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Posted by Cato on 11/07/2012 at 5:59 PM

So The Rock wants to build that dream Tech Park and that tacky loving-hands-at-Home-Depot "signature" bridge, then.

The Big Apple, meanwhile . . . .…

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Posted by Norma Bates on 11/07/2012 at 6:11 PM

Doesn't your heart BLEED for Rush Limbaugh?

Mine neither.…

And why do ALL these people look like generations of inbred Pillsburys and Sara Lees?

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Posted by Norma Bates on 11/07/2012 at 6:34 PM
Posted by Norma Bates on 11/07/2012 at 7:17 PM

No, Norma, my heart doesn't bleed for that bloviating gasbag. Not one damned bit.

Norma, I read elsewhere on your link that Mittney LOST Houston by two votes. One of the richest and most conservative cities in Red Texas went for Obama. The Republican Party HAS dug it's grave with Hispanic people who won't forget how they were treated by that political party. Yet, this morning on one of the talk shows, I saw a republican complaining about immigration. They haven't learned from the past and they won't learn in the future and that will be the cause of the demise of the R party. They pine for a luxurious past and 'values' that never really existed for two thirds of us 60 years ago.

Hispanics are becoming a force here. A year ago, there was one AM radio station in Little Rock that served that market. Now, there are two dedicated FM stations and that AM station plus occasional programming on KABF all playing tejano and popular spanish music and advertising. I see hispanic groceries and small businesses opening all the time, and I hear spanish more and more at the store, along with new strange and wonderful foods that I'd love to learn to cook.

America is changing, and for the better. It won't be as fast as we like and there will be setbacks, but it will keep happening.

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Posted by MarcKyle1964 on 11/07/2012 at 7:27 PM

Well, Marc, you're still in our thoughts and prayers.

We're too late for this guy, though I'm pretty sure there's a message here, for somebody . . . .…

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Posted by Norma Bates on 11/07/2012 at 8:01 PM

LOL eLwood.

I'll happily buy you a drink and toast your long memory. I ended up holding my nose and voting for Greg as a buttress against the Koch take over of the Ledge. I still think it was a stupid stand by Greg, and I think he'll probably agree with me.

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Posted by scrapper72 on 11/07/2012 at 8:07 PM

During the Bush era there were certain words in the lexicon that didn't exactly take on a different meaning, but they gave me a different feeling when I heard them. Words like "values", "family", and "patriotism" to name a few. Here's a little something for the Bush era "patriots":

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Posted by hugh mann on 11/07/2012 at 8:09 PM

This election proves for sure that the Republican Party has become the party of old, white men (except for Sky and me) , who are being left behind in the democratization of America. This old, white man is proud to be apart of this new Democratic movement. An Hispanic candidate for City Council in Rogers, Arkansas, is in a runoff for the seat--the first time in history this has happened. I doubt that he can win, but the very fact he got this far means a lot, considering that Rogers was once a sundown town.

(eLwood, I apologize for arguing that last statement with you a few years ago. I have learned that I was wrong.)

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Posted by plainjim on 11/07/2012 at 8:18 PM

Of course Margaret and Helen have something to say about the election results:

Mitch McConnell’s Republican Party Can Meet Me In The Middle and Kiss My Ass

"Once the real news called the race for Obama, I tuned into Fox News to see if Carl Rove was giving refunds. I had to laugh at the meltdown that was happening. Carl wanted a recount in Ohio and some blonde woman with too much make-up lamented about the inconvenient truth of Hurricane Sandy. Evidently Sandy and fraudulent voters had given the election unfairly to Obama"

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Posted by NeverVoteRepublican on 11/07/2012 at 8:49 PM

The AP: "Court dismisses Tenn. lawyer John Wolfe's appeal after he was denied Arkansas delegates despite winning 42 percent of the vote" -…

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Posted by radical centrist on 11/07/2012 at 8:53 PM
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