The latest Rasmussen poll puts McCain up 10 over Obama in Arkansas -- 47 to 37. Count leaners and it's 52-39.
McCain is backed by 91% of Republicans in Arkansas Obama earns support from 67% of Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, McCain leads 67% to 16%.
There is a huge racial divide as well. McCain leads 55% to 27% among white voters in Arkansas, while Obama leads 93% to 2% among black voters. The Republican has a 52% to 33% advantage among men, but the two candidates are essentially even among women.
Maybe this is why I keep hearing from Democrats that Obama, despite his supposed 50-state strategy, isn't seriously considering Arkansas among the 50.
Too bad. This gap isn't insurmountable. It's hard to see why Mississippi and Louisiana, two of the most Republican states in the South, can be seen as more winnable than the most monolithically Democratic state in the country. It's a certainty he'll lose if he doesn't try.
Some Republicans think Obama will damage some down-ticket Democrats in Arkansas. That's a little hard to fathom. There's a pretty big gulf between the White House and Mulberry. But that's what some Repubs are saying.
Gov. Mike Beebe owes Obama, given his rally in 2006 for Beebe. But if Obama doesn't visit, or even care much about, Arkansas he need not demonstrate much enthusiasm.