We have a feeling he'll be golfing in Searcy, but the one Democratic politician who seems immune to the dead-red tide in Arkansas is Gov. Mike Beebe. A Public Policy Polling survey released last week found Beebe leading Republican Sen. John Boozman in a speculative 2016 Senate matchup 46-40.
Health care, by the numbers
192,210: Number of low-income Arkansans who have gained coverage via the state's private option version of Medicaid expansion.
44: Percentage of private option enrollees aged 19-44, making the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace significantly younger overall.
22.5: Percentage of uninsured Arkansans in 2013, before major coverage expansion provisions of Obamacare, such as the private option, went into effect.
12.4: Percentage of uninsured Arkansans midway through 2014. The decline in the number of uninsured, cut nearly in half, was the largest drop in the nation.
Quote of the week
"We didn't run. We ran the plays. Oh my God, all the old coaches that beat me, they said, 'Man, your team is very well coached. ...' But I was losing! I didn't like that, and I started biting, grabbing, slapping, trying to create turnovers, try to win the possession war."
— Former Razorback basketball coach Nolan Richardson, in his acceptance speech after his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last Friday, on his first season in Arkansas, just before his helter-skelter "40 Minutes of Hell" style was born.
The most liberal town in Arkansas: North Little Rock. At least according to survey data compiled across the country by political data analytics company Clarity Campaign Labs.
Most conservative: Marshall, up in Searcy County. We should note, however, that Marshall has the oldest drive-in movie theater in the state, a quality-of-life factor transcending politics.
The judicial election problem
Lame-duck Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said recently that Arkansas judges should be appointed rather than elected. The issue in a nutshell: 1) Appointment is preferable to election; 2) Appointment doesn't remove judges from politics; 3) Appointment ain't going to happen in Arkansas; 4) Secretly supplied money will play an increasing role in judicial politics; 5) More often than not, corporate money will prevail; 6) Every now and then a thoroughly disreputable judge will do him/herself in (Tiger Droppings, anyone?). Voters too often are none the wiser to such scoundrels.