A reasonably reliable Republican of our acquaintance (yes, there are some and, yes, they sometimes even talk to me -- you should have seen who I had lunch with today), offers this from the Hutchinson camp.
1) Internal polling shows the race with Beebe narrowing.
2) It's being narrowed by the receptiveness of rural Democrats to A$a's demagoguing of the Paron school issue.
3) People who've made it their business to stay friendly with both Beebe and A$a expect Beebe to shortly soften his position considerably on the question of consolidating rural schools, no matter how inefficient or miserable.
At this point, we duck and cover.
PS -- Since at least one radio talk show host knows who I had lunch with today, I should quickly add that my luncheon partner is not the source of this item.
UPDATE THURSDAY AM: I screwed up one part of the retelling of this unsubstantiated gossip last night. The internal polling is reputed to be Beebe's, not Hutchinson's, but the Hutchinson people have been informed of it by a double-agent. Or so the story goes.