Asa Hutchinson hasn't joined the reality-based community yet. He's holding out hope that he'll win every single vote in Sebastian and Benton Counties and thus lose by only about 10 percent. He appears to thank supporters, praise Gov. Huckster and say it'll be a long night. Longer for losers than winners.
UPDATE 9:15 PM
It's early. But incomplete returns show Democrats Joan Cash and Ray Kidd leading in two state legislative races in the Jonesboro area where Republicans were counting on pickups. The Democratic sweep could be even deeper than anticipated. Sharon Noble's much-touted Republican candidacy in Hot Springs looks likely to end in defeat by Gene Shelby. And Sen. Terry Smith seems likely to survive a Religious Righter challenge in Hot Springs, which all but guarantees that the Republicans will have no pickups in the Senate this year.
UPDATE 8:44 PM
Early returns indicate Green Party candidate Jim Lendall won't reach the 3 percent necessary to give the party automatic ballot access.
I've mentioned elsewhere that you'll shortly hear talk of the need to rebuild the Republican Party, with nothing save perhaps a few legislative wins to show for 10 years of control at the top two positions in Arkansas politics. More moderation? Might UCA president Lu Hardin be the future face of Arkansas Republicanism?
Think about this: Would the outcome have been dramatically different than the Beebe blowout had Win Rockefeller lived (and had he managed to defeat Asa Hutchinson in the Republican primary)?
UPDATE 8:35 PM
A wide lead for Beebe in nominally Republican Baxter County. They'll be going home early at the Doubletree Hotel. Party's at the Embassy Suites.
UPDATE 8:03 PM
It's shaping up like a Democratic blowout. I'd project, even once Benton County comes in, double-digit margins for the statewide Democrats. The Arkansas Family blog and the rest of the Republican attack machine should be busily drafting a round of apologies to pollsters Ernie and Zoe Oakleaf.
In early votings, it appears Charlie Daniels might again be the top vote-getter among Democrats. Once again, a powerful Democrat-Gazette endorsement is the kiss of death.
College bonds and charity bingo seem likely to cruise to easy approval among ballot measures.
UPDATE 7:39 PM
Garland County wins the race for first returns with early voting showing a Democratic sweep in statewide offices, including a 14-point lead for Beebe. This is a diverse county, perhaps a bellwether.
We'll track state election results -- legislative and statewide and congressional offices -- here. Your comments are welcome, not to mention reports from the field where you have information on results before others have gathered them.
An unscientific sampling of Democratic and Republican campaign workers suggests big turnout in such Republican areas as WLR and Benton County, underwhelming turnout in traditionally Democratic precincts, such as heavily black parts of eastern Little Rock and Delta counties.
A party worker we trust reports that national party figures show Democratic and Republican turnouts in "base" precincts to be very similar, with a slight edge to Republicans. Given the closeness of the vote in 2004, you'd presume things should break Democratic, with defections among independents from Republicans. But maybe not.