The Pulaski County Election Commission has posted early voting returns in the state's largest county. It's maybe a third of the total vote, more than 40,000 ballots. It can be presumed to be a reasonable indicator of final results, apart from close races. Highlights:
* 2nd District Congress: Sen. Joyce Elliott, the Democrat, TRAILED Republican Tim Griffin, by a margin of 47-50. She is toast. We knew that. But how burned the toast, we didn't quite imagine. Her losses will be only exponentially greater in surrounding counties in the 2nd District. Lincoln leads Boozman in Pulaski 49-47.
* Statewide races: Huge margins for most Democratic statewide candidates, though Land Commissioner candidate LJ Bryant only has a 55-45 lead over the Republican preacher. Are the margins enough to cover the rest of the state? We'll see later.
* State legislative races: No surprises here. Republican Jeremy Hutchinson leading Dawn Creekmore in the Senate race (where Saline County voters also must be counted); David Sanders ahead of Debbie Murphy in the WLR House race; John Wallker has a comfortable lead over his Republican challenger; incumbent Rep. Allen Kerr leads Carolyn Staley by a wide margin.
* Local races: Incumbents — Mayor Mark Stodola and several incumbent city directors — seem in no peril. Republicans are leading in several Justice of the Peace races, indicating a strong Republican surge on the Quorum Court, including possible defeats for two incumbent Democrats on the county governing body.
* Other issues: Pulaski voters are giving huge votes in favor of all three proposed constitutional amendments and narrowly favoring Judge Tim Fox in the race for an open Supreme Court seat against Judge Karen Baker, but her strength around the state is expected to give her the victory.