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spidersinterweb

By being a conservative democrat, the sort of person to the right of even folks like Manchin, who would have basically the whole party seething with rage if he was still relevant and the decisive vote these days


Cyberhwk

He was originally elected before Obama made the GOP go crazy.


FloggingJonna

Arkansas re elected a democrat senator the same year as Obama tbf.


Dramatic_Pin_5035

Arkansas like most of the South had strong ties to the old school Democratic Party. Those ties didn’t die out until the Obama era.


EfficientJuggernaut

That’s super interesting. Like I had no idea that until 2010 Democrats had control of the Mississippi state government and I think Kentucky. I was debating a conservative and he told me that the democrats controlled many southern states until the Obama era. I always thought it was Clinton that put the nail in the coffin for state democrats in the south. When you look at Al Gore’s election you notice him losing his own state of Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, etc.


Dramatic_Pin_5035

Yeah, Obama’s re-election sparked the end of the long term realignment of the South from Democrat to Republican. It started after Johnson signed the CRA and then there were notable defection waves in both 1994 and 2010. Prominent party switchers include Rick Perry (TX), Richard Shelby (AL), John Kennedy (LA), and Cindy Hyde-Smith(MS).


soxfaninfinity

John Kennedy had an actual ideology shift (he was pretty liberal and a Kerry supporter) while the rest were always very conservative.


EfficientJuggernaut

Had no idea those senators switched. Gonna look into that. Thanks


FloggingJonna

Beebe was supposed to win. He polled way ahead of Asa. Huckabee as the incumbent was actually the aberration as a republican. Beebe had some 20 years of state senate experience and was able to tie his candidacy to veritable Arkansas legends politically. Dale Bumpers, Bill Clinton, and the Pryors. In fact 2 of the counties Asa won were mostly due to his hometown and where he worked as a federal prosecutor. Benton and Sebastian respectively. Those are good sized counties but not as big as say Pulaski (Little Rock) or Washington (Fayetteville home of the university) I’m mentioning the counties in particular to dispel the notion he won just because of rural voters. He did well rurally and in the more urban parts of the state. For what it’s worth I feel like mentioning that Arkansas isn’t exactly like other dyed in the wool trumpist style southern states. The republican governments in adjacent states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi etc have jumped much further into lunacy. For what it’s worth OP I’ve spent basically my whole life in Arkansas and Oklahoma and can answer anything you may wanna know.


shivlad02

Can you answer these for me too? How could a democrat win back the south like they did at the state level for many states like Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, etc. the Obama era pretty much from what other people have said here put the nail in the coffin for the state democrat control. Were many democrats at the state level pretty indistinguishable from republicans?


FloggingJonna

Well first things first. The whole “Obama was black and lol racism” is incredibly reductionist. As I’ve pointed out to others before Arkansas elected a democrat senator the same election as Obama. Something this sub has severe blinders for (probably because of where they live) is that the DNC has all but completely forsaken these places. Frankly as much as I dislike republicans, democrats simply don’t deserve to win in Arkansas, Mississippi, or Oklahoma. I don’t know much about Kentucky so I can’t opine. Believe it or not a flip of Arkansas is much easier than I believe most think. The fastest growing part of Arkansas and the most wealthy are the two counties in the northwest. Forgive me for not knowing the district’s numbers but it’s so few my directionals here should be good. Competent campaigning could certainly give Arkansas 2 dem house seats. The NW and the SE. The southeast delta region of Arkansas has a lot of democrats. The largest city LR got cracked recently but the city itself is democrat. How could this happen? The ideal candidate for say governor or senator would be someone like this: -Arkansas Native (not negotiable) -Willing to publicly buck the party on guns -Could be pro choice but in a Clinton “safe and rare” way -It would help incredibly if he had a AG background -Religious and willing to use it to point out hypocrisy Something I’ve seen the DNC do time and again in red states is fund pie in the sky democrats that’d be completely on board nationally. That dog just won’t fucking hunt. Basically the DNC would have to be willing to fund someone that’d buck them publicly on just about every hot button social war issue. Like CRT, Defund Police stuff like that. BUT! They’d still help dems approve judges and I see no reason why they’d hold up spending bills. These are just my intro thoughts.


shivlad02

Thanks for your response. It was incredibly informing. Here's where I push back: Mark Pryor won with ease because the Republicans didn't nominate a candidate, as they thought Hillary Clinton would be the nominee, so presumably she would win Arkansas and Pryor along with her. Once Obama became the nominee, the deadline passed so Republicans couldn't field a candidate. Anyway, a lot of people in Arkansas thought it was a fluke that Obama got the nomination and that he wouldn't win so they were still comfortable voting for Pryor. Once he won is when Arkansans changed from what I see. The same in Louisiana with Senator Mary Landrieu.


shivlad02

Are you an Arkansan by the way?


EfficientJuggernaut

Awesome, I do have some questions, How could a democrat win back the south like they did at the state level for many states like Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, etc. the Obama era pretty much from what other people have said here put the nail in the coffin for the state democrat control. Were many democrats at the state level pretty indistinguishable from republicans?