Maybe Shane Broadway or Pat O'Brien or even L.J. Bryant should have run for 2nd District Congress (Bryant would have had to change residence). They could hardly have done worse than Democrat Joyce Elliott, pasted 58-38 by Republican Tim Griffin.
I ran some quick numbers:
Broadway carried the 2nd District by about 13,000 votes, with 55.5 percent of the vote, in his losing race for lieutenant governor against Republican winner Mark Darr. He carried Saline, which Griffin carried by 16,000 over Elliott, by 5,000 votes.
O'Brien carried the 2nd District by about 19,000 votes, with 55.5 percent of the vote in his race for secretary of state against Republican winner Mark Martin. He carried Pulaski, which Elliott barely split with Griffin, by a whopping 30,000 votes.
Bryant carried the 2nd District by about 4,000 votes, with 51.2 percent of the vote in his race for land commissioner against Republican winner John Thurston. He carried Pulaski, Thurston's home county, by 15,000 votes.
Darr, Martin and Thurston are not Griffin, I know. Only Thurston is a 2nd District resident. But it's still food for future thought about district partisan alignment. It is by no means reflexively Republican yet. It's also worth wondering how House Speaker Robbie Wills would have done. He lost to Elliott in the primary. He presumably would have done better in his home Faulkner County than Elliott did, where she trailed Griffin by almost 10,000 votes. Pulaski proved in other races that it was amenable to Democratic candidates. Wills can claim an "I told you so." But he's done his duty, supported Elliott, and otherwise kept a low profile.
Remember 2012 starts now for all U.S. House races. The cycle is perpetual. I presume would-be Democratic candidates understand that.
2014 also starts now. Dustin McDaniel begins preparing for his run for governor, unless Sen. Mark Pryor decides to come home and run for governor. U.S. Rep. Mike Ross might be in that mix. Steve Womack and Tim Griffin, Republican congressional winners, are already considered likely gubernatorial candidates in 2014, if Griffin doesn't try to run for U.S. Senate to get even with Pryor for messing up his clandestine installation as U.S. attorney.
A former Arkansan who threw in with the Tea Party is now well-situated for some early Republican contests in the primary for president in 2012. That would be Florida resident Mike Huckabee. The presidential race, of course, has long been underway.
What? You say you're not ready to start campaigning again just yet? Get ready.