Yes, Virginia, one vote really does matter

vote, SimondsThink your one vote doesn’t matter? Virginians may have thought so, too, until this week.

There, an election for the House of Delegates, that state’s House of Representatives, is stuck in a tie. Republican Delegate David Yancey initially won the race to represent Newport News by 10 votes. After a recount, Democrat Shelly Simonds won by one vote. But then a disputed ballot was successfully challenged, leaving the count at 11,608-11,608. The winner’s name likely will be picked randomly from a glass bowl.

It’s about more than one legislative seat

OK, we’re talking about a single state legislative race. Big deal, right? Continue reading Yes, Virginia, one vote really does matter

Top 6 questions for 2018 – and a few predictions just for fun

By Steve Brawner

© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

What might happen in Arkansas and national politics in 2018? Asking questions is easier than making predictions. So let’s ask, in the order they’re likely to be answered.

– Will Sen. Tom Cotton become the next CIA director? There have been reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who did not deny calling President Trump a “moron,” will be leaving soon. CIA Director Mike Pompeo supposedly would move to State, while Cotton would go to CIA.

If that happens, it would lead to new questions. Continue reading Top 6 questions for 2018 – and a few predictions just for fun

What does Alabama’s election mean for Arkansas?

Alabama, Arkansas, electionHow big a deal is Democrat Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama U.S. Senate race? Pretty big for the country. What does it say about next year’s elections in Arkansas? Probably not that much.

It’s a big deal because it decreases the Republicans’ Senate majority to 51-49. That means they have to keep all but one senator in line if they ever want to get anything done.

And after next November, it may be part of an even bigger deal – if Democrats could somehow take back the U.S. Senate. That’s a tall order because the Democratic caucus must defend 26 seats next year, 10 of them in states won by President Trump in 2016. Republicans are defending only eight seats. But the Democrats’ grabbing an unexpected win in the South changes the math and makes it easier for them to recruit candidates and raise money. Meanwhile, they must flip 24 seats to control the U.S. House. Continue reading What does Alabama’s election mean for Arkansas?

Democrats find their candidate

By Steve Brawner

© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

If you’re an Arkansas Democrat, the glass-half-empty perspective is that your candidate for governor apparently is going to be Jared Henderson, a 39-year-old political newcomer you’ve probably never heard of. That’s also the glass-half-full perspective.

It’s a glass half empty because you’d prefer someone well-known, well-liked, with money, and with a history of winning statewide races in this new political environment.

But that person’s name is Mike Beebe, and he’s term-limited. And so it’s a glass half full because the party must develop fresh faces, and the 2018 governor’s race is as good a place to start as any. Continue reading Democrats find their candidate