by Max Brantley
While Democrats have recruited some credible hopefuls and have opportunities in the state, it’s hard to believe that they have much of a chance of sweeping four competitive contests. This is a state where Barack Obama drew less than 37 percent of the vote in 2012 and just under 39 percent of the vote four years earlier. So where are their best opportunities?
The gubernatorial race would appear to be the Democrats’ best chance.
Ross did have a reputation as a moderate Democrat during his years on Capitol Hill, and he spent more than a decade representing one quarter of the state in Congress. More importantly, he is running for a state office, not a federal one, and since voters evaluate candidates differently when they are seeking non-federal office, Ross would seem to have the best chance of the bunch.
After Ross probably comes Pryor. Senate candidates generally get more attention and spend more money than House hopefuls, and that means voters know more about them. Pryor’s name is a good one in the state, and he has already run ads defining himself and painting a picture for voters of Republican Cotton. If the Democrat’s campaign can succeed in defining the choice facing voters, he has a chance to win.
The two House seats look to be a heavy lift for Democrats.