tout the early presidential primary
as a spur to presidential candidate visits in a report by John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau.
Four Republicans have visited with one scheduled to come and one Democrat has visited. This is out of 20 or so major party candidates, so it isn't exactly a tidal wave of visits.
But Arkansas Republican sponsors think the March primary means more attention than a May primary, when past primary contests have typically been decided.
"Typically" is the operative word.
And, at this point, there's still room to see where the early primary might remove Arkansas from the most critical part of the race for Republicans/
Through March 14, Republican primaries generally will determine proportional allocation of state delegations to the Republican National Convention. Roughly speaking, if you get a quarter of the vote you get a quarter of the delegates. After the early March primaries in the South, many states will be winner-take-all Republican primaries and they include some of the most populous states. There, a candidate with 28 percent of the vote — should he happen to lead the ticket, a possibility if 17 remain in the race— gets ALL of a state's delegates.
You know where I'm going.
Party establishment types hope Donald Trump is dead by then. But as March draws inexorably closer, Trump continues to lead polling, including in so-called SEC Primary states like Arkansas. States eligible to be winner-take-all (a choice that may yet change in some cases) include Florida, Illinois, Missouri; North Carolina; Ohio, Arizona, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, California and many more. Lots of delegates available to a candidate without majority support.
Funny times. Arkansas's early vote thus might prove less important on account of the switch. And Arkansas Republicans might go Trump anyway. If not Ben Carson. Huckawho?