by Max Brantley
10:20 AM UPDATE ON SALINE COUNTY VOTING:
With just two precincts left to count, Saline County, the only county still out, is almost finished with vote tallies. The county clerk says Paul Suskie leads Dustin McDaniel 1,623 to 649 in the Democratic race for attorney general. There are no more than 200 ballots left to count. If earlier reporting statewide is accurate, McDaniel will be left with a 2,500-vote margin awaiting mail absentees, which aren't likely to be numerous enough to affect the outcome.
NOTE: A streamlined federal voting procedure for military deployed overseas means many of those votes have already been counted, a Pulaski County Election Commission spokesman tells us. Military voters may order candidates in races with more than two candidates so that the ranking determines their vote in a runoff. Some mail absentees from military personnel and overseas voters are still allowed through June 23, the spokesman said. But to give you an idea about the potential impact: Saline County has no outstanding ballots to count. Pulaski County has 129 mail absentees outstanding, but many are sent under standing requests and often aren't return. In short: there's unlikely to be a well of military votes -- as some have asked about -- that could alter the outcome in the attorney general's race.
McDaniel's likely victory already has the Republicans licking their chops over his presumed liberalism, particularly his pro-choice campaigning in select liberal areas. The narrative will be that the Democrats have nominated a liberal ticket, hardly a label that fits Beebe, for sure. And, as opposed to the wackjob ticket, we'd prefer it.
The statewide unofficial total in the race for attorney general when only 1,400 Saline County votes had been counted was:
That's a gap of 3,165. The additional votes reported by the clerk narrow that margin to 2,500 or so.
ALSO: Saline County elected Dan Greenberg to the House over Kurt Hetherington. They are Little Rock Republicans contesting the seat currently held by Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson.
Hetherington carried Pulaski County 599 to 360; Greenberg carried Saline County (Hot Springs Village is the big vote generator) 428 to 148. Total: Greenberg 788, Hetherington 747. No Democrat filed for the seat.