Arkansas Redistricting: Legislature Reaches Agreement, Governor Will Sign

It’s a done deal:

The state Senate gave final approval to a congressional redistricting plan today and sent the bill to the governor for his signature.

Gov. Mike Beebe has said he will sign the bill, which divides five counties, including Sebastian and Jefferson, between districts but keeps Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Russellville in the 3rd Congressional District and keeps Pine Bluff in the 4th District. …

Under SB 972 and HB 1836, Jefferson County would be split between the 4th and 1st districts, Crawford, Newton and Sebastian counties between the 3rd and 4th districts, and Searcy County between the 3rd and 1st districts.

Also, Madison, Franklin and Johnson counties would move to from the 3rd to the 4th District, Yell County would move from the 2nd to the 4th and Lincoln, Desha and Chicot counties would move from the 4th to the 1st.

The legislature has now recessed, so there’s definitely no going back. Here’s the new map, which eliminates the “Fayetteville Finger”:

ARDem at Blue Arkansas thinks this is a sucky map, and blames Dems for caving. Considering we comfortably control the trifecta here, it sounds like we did a very lousy job.

83 thoughts on “Arkansas Redistricting: Legislature Reaches Agreement, Governor Will Sign”

  1. like they were intentionally trying to take out Ross. I know that’s not really true, but all they did is ensure a Republican wins his seat when he quits. Why Fayetteville Dems apparently threw a fit not to be put in his district is beyond me. On the bright side, Crawford is more vulnerable now. Doesn’t look like they weakened Griffith at all…wasn’t that what Mark Pryor was lobbying for?

  2. Despite having trifectas, the GOP accepted a sub-optimal map in Indiana and the Dems accepted a sub-optimal map in Arkansas.  

    Things that make you go hmmm. . . .

  3. without the Fayetteville Finger, and Fayetteville Dems’ resistance will ensure an uphill battle to hold the 4th when Ross retires. However, the 1st now looks like a legit Dem-leaning district, at least in non-presidential races, what with its Delta backbone.

  4. A lot of elected Democrats in Fayetteville didn’t want to share a district with South Arkansas and South Arkansas elected Democrats felt the same, so regionalism was a big reason in this. This map could have been much better, but if Democrats choose good candidates, they may be able to make it would.

  5. For a southern state I’d expect it to grow faster, but its behaiving more Rust-Belt-y it seems.  With WalMart, and such an overall small population, I guess I thought they’d grow a decent bit fatser than the national average.

  6. But this map is much uglier than either the status quo or the Fayetteville finger. I really don’t understan the logic that says Fayetteville needs to stay in the 3rd, but we can cut a big chunk out of the middle of it and make a weird inverse ‘u’ shape.


    It fails aesthetically, on compactness and as a Democratic map.


    1. hold this AR-04 for as long as he wants it.  He actually almost selfishly ruined the map by pushing for getting the Delta region, which would have weakened AR-01 for Democrats.

      Democrats can still compete and win in AR-02 and AR-01, but it needs good recruitment and a better year.

  7. It is in works with the State Senate, who are devising an aggressive gerrymander there, unlike here.  The reason why they can now afford to be more partisan here is that the map won’t be put up to a vote by the body.  Rather, it will be approved by the reapportionment committee, which is the Governor, A-G, and SoS with only the latter being Republican.

  8. looks like a Republican map. They could have at the very least made Ross more safe. But they make him even redder. Then they add hardly enough to make a statistical difference of dem votes in the other two. I would bet anyone here money that if Ross leaves (very likely) that this makes a 4-0 R map. The could have very easily made a 2-2 map that would turn into a 3-1 map when Ross leaves. The Arkansas Democrats just accepted their own extinction. Ridiculous.  

  9. that Ross does not care about being protected because he is going to switch parties to run for governor in 14?  Why go through a messy primary against the AG?

  10. Looking at the Lincoln/Boozman numbers as someone suggested upthread is probably a better indication of Dem strength on the Congressional level as opposed to 08 Obama/McCain.

    If we do that, the 1st district contains a lot of counties that Lincoln won in a terrible year as a damaged and unpopular candidate. I think the 1st can swing towards in in 2012, but the Dem strength is Pulaski County is completely wasted, and I don’t think the Dems will win it back in 2012.

    Odds of Dem wins in 2012:

    1st-50 % We now have a fighting chance with the right candidate here.

    2nd- 30 % AA turnout would have to be very high for a Dem to win here.

    3rd 0 % Forget it.

    4th- 95 % Ross will hold this seat but after he retires or runs for Gov we lose it.

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