by Max Brantley
You can check votepulaski.net for the early vote in Pulaski County.
President Obama well ahead in early voting....Herb Rule up 10 points on Republican Rep. Tim Griffin, though Griffin is expected to sweep the rest of the district .... Tracy Steele ahead by 9, at 49 percent, in the race for North Little Rock mayor against Joe Smith ... Republican Rep. Allen Kerr barely ahead of Democrat Barbara Graves in early voting on a WLR House seat ... Barry Hyde barely ahead of Jane English for a northside Senate seat .. Rep. Jim Nickels leading a Republican challenger in the North Little Rock-Sherwood area ... and interesting stuff at even the JP level, where, among others, veteran Kathy Lewison is leading the Koch-backed, Family Council-backed Chris Stewart for a seat on the county panel that will decide whether to regulate land use in the Lake Maumelle watershed.... Patti James well ahead of John Hout in a circuit judge race that got ugly in the final days.
Oh, and Willard Proctor is leading Gene Fortson in a race for the Little Rock City Board. CORRECTION: A city spokesman says a simple plurality is necessary to win a board seat. A runoff is necessary in certain cases for the mayor's race. A win for Proctor would upset a lot of presumptions about city voting patterns, including my own. We'll see.
UPDATE: The Arkansas legislature indeed is trending strongly toward a Republican majority for the first time. Too early to talk numbers or even the outcomes of some individual races, but most of them are running to expected form.
The highway sales tax and medical marijuana are also ahead in early Pulaski voting. But the state's largest county often votes more liberally than the rest of the state.
Some blithe assumptions about outcomes tonight aren't holding in Pulaski County just yet on several legislative races.