Louis Jacobson, a columnist for the D.C.-based Roll Call newspaper, today updates his rankings of the races most likely to result in a change in which party controls the governor's seat.
Arkansas has moved up to #3 from its previous ranking of #5.
3. (tie) Arkansas
Vacating seat: Mike Huckabee (R)
Previous ranking: 5
Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) has maintained his position over former Rep Asa Hutchinson (R) for most of this year, and despite an aggressive push by Hutchinson in recent weeks, Beebe is still strongly favored.
“Arkansas Democrats will regain the governorship by a comfortable margin, potentially by 8 points or more,” said Janine Parry, director of the Arkansas Poll at the University of Arkansas. “They will cast this victory as the finishing touch on their return to a virtual monopoly in state-level politics.”
We called Parry to ask how she arrived at her definitive prediction. She said that Beebe is ahead in 14 of the 15 independent polls by an average of 15 points.
"I don't think the gap will turn out to be that large -- I do think there are outliers in those polls," Parry said. "But I just don't think this will be the close contest we all thought it would be."
Parry also told us that the latest Arkansas Poll results have been tabulated, and they will be released to the public on Oct. 26.