Arkansas Redistricting: New Pres Numbers by CD

Arkansas rounds out the first batch (along with Iowa and Louisiana) of states finishing their redistricting tasks, so we’ve crunched the data to see how the last few elections went in the newly-designed districts. (If you’re unfamiliar with the new map, which wound up without the infamous “Fayetteville Finger,” you can take a gander here.)

District Obama # McCain # Obama % McCain % Beebe % Keet % Lincoln % Boozman %
AR-01 102,670 151,918 39.17 57.96 67.68 30.32 42.29 52.34
AR-02 129,888 157,732 44.29 53.79 66.06 32.28 42.02 53.77
AR-03 85,866 161,902 33.86 63.85 57.84 39.93 26.01 68.32
AR-04 103,886 166,465 37.41 59.95 65.54 32.52 36.49 58.07

Unlike last decade’s map (which placed in Arkansas in the company of only Iowa and West Virginia in keeping every county intact), the new Arkansas map splits several counties down the middle, making this a more difficult task than Iowa (and more difficult than Louisiana, which seems to have more useful data). Jeffmd’s data crunching involved not only some estimation of how to allocate absentee ballots, but also some approximation of Sebastian County (i.e Fort Smith, now split between the 3rd and 4th) votes, which aren’t listed by precinct but rather by polling location, meaning rather tediously mapping the county and pinpointing polling places. (You can check out the full spreadsheet here.)

Despite controlling the redistricting trifecta here (the Gov. plus both legislative chambers), it doesn’t seem like Arkansas Dems did much to advance their cause here, leaving the numbers pretty much as is, despite shifting around a lot of counties (especially in the dark-red northwest, where there’s now an unsightly bulge of the 4th into the former 3rd). The old districts were 38 Obama/59 McCain in AR-01, 44/54 in AR-02, 34/64 in AR-03, and 39/58 in AR-04… hardly any change at all, although the 1st improved very slightly at the expense of the 4th. If there was any consideration given to either improving Dem chances at picking up the 2nd or strengthening the 4th in the event of a Mike Ross retirement, it didn’t pan out.

30 thoughts on “Arkansas Redistricting: New Pres Numbers by CD”

  1. I cannot believe democrats passed such a stupid plan. This is a 4R to 0D map once mike ross retires. They should have tried to go for 2 winnable districts instead of being greedy and creating 4 districts they cannot win. Maybe they can win the 2nd district back, but that’s about it. What morons!

    1. My point was that a guaranteed 3-1 is still better than the 4-0 low point that the Dems have very likely handed the GOP by keeping the current districts as they are.

      Maybe after Obama is out of office, AR Dems can recover somewhat at the Federal level. For now, I can’t be optimistic.  

  2. The State Legislature is helping to draw an aggressive Dem gerrymander of their chambers.  This won’t be nearly as controversial since it is approved by a majority decision of three statewide offices (Gov, A-G, and SoS).  And since SoS Martin (the sole Republican) is such a corrupt dick, the Gov and A-G are wisely working around him.

  3. That is exactly what the reasoning was. They should have done it differently, but at least they can still compete in the 1st and the 2nd, maybe even the 4th if the candidate is right.

  4. Thinking back to 2008, I think Arkansas may have been the only state with actual PUMAs (ie real dems, as opposed to conservadems, that voted for McCain out of spite because of Hillary’s loss). That being said, given Arkansas’s political trends the 2008 results are probably do represent where Arkansas will soon be politically even if they’re a bit too pessimistic right now.

    Also… I have wondered about the motivation of Arkansas legislative Dems. Specifically, while they clearly would want to design districts with white conservadems  in mind, I was wondering whether they might be more concerned about creating districts where they would risk losing a primary to a liberal African-American candidate than about losing to the Republican in the general. I really don’t know if that is the case, but I certainly hope not.  

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