My die-hard Democratic correspondent in Benton County has the final tally on early voting in that fortress of Republican strength.
Republicans -- 2,549, 55.7 percent
Democrats -- 2,024, 44.2 percent
This is uncommonly close for Benton County.
In the May 2006 primary, when constitutional officers were on the ballot, 2,513 Democrats and 15,017 Republicans voted. There were many more offices to consider, of course. But there was only a 19 percent drop in Democratic turnout against an 85 percent drop in Republicans. That says SOMETHING about enthusiasm, I think.
Also noted: At the downtown Rogers polling place, more Democrats voted than Republicans. Might this be a sign of the growing influence of Latino voters? If so, no wonder Mayor Womack wants to arrest them all.
And add this from my card-carrying union member in Washington County, just south of Fortress Boozman, a snippet from the Morning News on that county's early vote:Of the early voters, 2, 271 of them were Democrats, 1,003 were Republicans and three were members of the Green Party.
Bush carried the county in 2004 with 55.74 percent