Arkansas gubernatorial election, 2014

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Arkansas Gubernatorial Election
Primary Date
May 20, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Mike Beebe Democratic Party
Mike Beebe.jpg

Arkansas State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
GovernorLieutenant Governor
Secretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Auditor

744px-Flag of Arkansas.svg.png
The Arkansas gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mike Beebe (D) is ineligible for re-election due to term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.

Arkansas has an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.

Candidates

Declined/Withdrew


Ballot access for political parties

See also: Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Arkansas#Process to establish a political party

In Arkansas, the process to establish a political party is tied to the votes cast in a presidential or gubernatorial election. In order to initially put candidates on the ballot, political parties must submit a petition with 10,000 signatures. Then, in order to maintain that status beyond the election year in which they submit such a petition, their candidate for governor or president must receive at least three percent of the votes cast for that office.[14][15]

In 2012, both the Libertarian and Green parties of Arkansas qualified to put candidates on the ballot, but then their candidates did not receive enough votes for the parties to maintain their ballot status. In the fall of 2013, both parties submitted new petitions and were qualified to put candidates on the 2014 ballot.[16][17][18] In order to maintain their status as political parties without needing to petition for the 2016 elections, their candidates for governor must receive at least three percent of the vote.

According to an April 2014 poll, the likelihood of the Libertarian and Green parties to maintain their status in the state may depend on who the Democratic and Republican parties run in the gubernatorial election. If front-runners Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross are the candidates, three percent of those polled said they would vote for the Libertarian candidate and two percent said they would vote for the Green Party candidate. If instead Democrat Lynette Bryant ran against Hutchinson, those likely to vote for the Libertarian candidate remained the same while those likely to vote for the Green Party candidate rose to 4.5 percent. If Republican Curtis Coleman ran against Ross, those polled were more likely to vote for both the Libertarian and Green Party candidates when compared to having both front-runners on the ballot. The Libertarian candidate polled four percent and the Green Party candidate polled three percent.[19]

Race background

Democratic incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe is ineligible for re-election in 2014 due to term limits and the open seat sets the stage for a highly competitive race. Over a year before the election, polling figures and ratings reports - from sources such as The Washington Post, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, Governing and Daily Kos - had already labeled Beebe's seat as a toss-up and cast Arkansas among the states most vulnerable to partisan switch in the 2014 gubernatorial election cycle.[20][21][22][23]

In June 2012, term-limited Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) filed paperwork to start raising money for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.[24] McDaniel had been considered the Democratic frontrunner, but revelations that he had engaged in extra-martial relations with a Hot Springs attorney, Andi Davis,[25] whom he met around his 2010 re-election, ultimately proved too significant a publicity threat to his campaign. He dropped out of the race on January 25, 2013, explaining in an e-mail to supporters, "I had hoped that I could shape the 2014 gubernatorial debate with my vision for the future. Unfortunately, I am now convinced that if I run for Governor, this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas's future."[26]

Despite announcing in December 2012 that he would not run for governor in 2014, former Congressman Mike Ross re-emerged as a potential candidate in the wake of McDaniel's exit from the race.[27][28][29] "Dustin McDaniel getting out of the race has left a huge void which clearly none of the other candidates are filling or I wouldn't be getting all these calls from every corner of the state...I'm humbled by that and I feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the people of this state to at least reconsider my decision and I'm doing that," Ross said at U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's (D-AR) re-election fundraiser in March 2013.[30] Ross officially launched his campaign on April 17, 2013. The only other declared Democratic candidate at the time of his announcement, Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, left the race in July when he found himself trailing Ross in fundraising and immediately threw his support behind Ross.[31]threw his support behind Ross upon his withdrawal from the race on July 29, 2013.[32]

Lynette "Doc" Bryant filed for the Democratic primary nomination, along with Ross, in time to meet the March 3 candidate filing deadline.[33] On the Republican side, two candidates are vying for the primary nod and the chance to win back office for their party: former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson and businessman Curtis Coleman.[31]

The Libertarian Party and the Green Party selected their candidates for governor by convention. Libertarian nominee Frank Gilbert and Green Party nominee Josh Drake will appear on the November 4 general election ballot with the winners of the May 20 Democratic and Republican primary elections.[6][34][35]


Polls

Governor of Arkansas
Poll Asa Hutchinson (R) Mike Ross (D)Don't knowMargin of ErrorSample Size
Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll
(February 20, 2013)
43%38%19%+/-3.8675
Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll
(October 8, 2013)
41%37%22%+/-4.0603
Public Policy Polling/Americans United for Change
(December 13-15, 2013)
44%43%14%+/-3.11,004
AVERAGES 42.67% 39.33% 18.33% +/-3.63 760.67
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


Campaign media

Mike Ross


In the first TV ad of Ross' campaign, term-limited Gov. Mike Beebe discusses why he believes Ross should succeed him as governor - Released January 5, 2014

Campaign contributions

According to an end of the year finance disclosure report, Dustin McDaniel (D) raised about $410,500 in the final quarter of 2012, leaving his campaign with around $1.1 million cash on hand going into 2013.[36] The report, running from October 1 to December 31, was his first since McDaniel admitted on December 18 to having an extramarital affair.[36] The report listed about $386,027 raised for the primary and $24,500 raised for a potential runoff.[36] A spokesperson for McDaniel's campaign confirmed that the campaign reached its fundraising goals for 2012.[36] Any potential fallout from McDaniel's handling of the situation was expected to be more evident in the next finance report in April 2013.[36] McDaniel ultimately dropped out of the race on January 25, 2013. His official statement announcing his withdrawal from the race was sent to supporters through e-mail the morning on Jan. 25. McDaniel's statement explained, "I had hoped that I could shape the 2014 gubernatorial debate with my vision for the future. Unfortunately, I am now convinced that if I run for Governor, this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas's future."[26]

In Jan. 2013, former Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson reportedly stated to the AP that "the money is going to be there. It’s such an important race. ... I don't anticipate a challenge in catching up on the fundraising side."[36]

Additional reading

See also

External links

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References

  1. Arkansasonline.com, "Governor's race follow up," February 12, 2013
  2. The Arkansas Times, "Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor," April 17, 2013
  3. Arkansas Secretary of State, "2014 Preferential Primary Elections & Non Partisan General Election, Candidate Information: Lynette "Doc" Bryant," accessed March 3, 2014
  4. The City Wire, "Asa Hutchinson will run for Governor in 2014," January 4, 2013
  5. Coleman for Arkansas, "Home," accessed April 8, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Times Record, Election 2014: Libertarian Frank Gilbert Announces Bid For Arkansas Governor, October 17, 2013
  7. thv11.com, "Libertarian Party holds annual state convention," February 22, 2014
  8. Independent Political Report, "The Green Party of Arkansas Announces Candidates for Governor and U S Senate," November 23, 2013
  9. Talk Business, "McDaniel Releases Internal Poll: Winning Primary, Trouble in General," December 13, 2012
  10. Arkansasonline, "Darr won’t run for governor in ’14, backs Hutchinson," February 12, 2013
  11. Arkansas Business, "Mike Ross not reconsidering a 2014 run for Arkansas governor," December 26, 2012
  12. Bill Halter for Governor, Opportunities, 29 July, 2013
  13. San Francisco Chronicle, "State Rep. Debra Hobbs running for Arkansas gov.," May 13, 2013
  14. Arkansas Code, "Title 7, Section 1-101-21," accessed December 3, 2013
  15. Arkansas House Bill 2036, "An Act To Amend the Law Concerning Certain Procedural Dates In Election; To Amend the Law Concerning Certain Petitions; And For Other Purposes," Approved April 18, 2013
  16. Libertarian Party of Arkansas Website, "History of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas," accessed December 5, 2013
  17. Green Party of Arkansas Website, "Ballot Access," accessed December 5, 2013
  18. Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, "New Political Party Petition--Green Party," November 6, 2013
  19. UALR Public Radio, "Poll: Ross, Hutchinson In Virtual Dead Heat In Governor’s Race," April 6, 2014
  20. University of Virginia Center for Politics: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," April 29, 2013
  21. The Washington Post, "The Fix's top gubernatorial races," September 27, 2013
  22. Daily Kos, "Daily Kos Elections gubernatorial race ratings: Initial ratings for 2013-14," October 6, 2013
  23. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 12, 2012
  24. Arkansas News Bureau, "McDaniel raises $1 million for governor’s race," October 15, 2012
  25. Arkansas Times, "McDaniel admits 'inappropriate interaction' with Hot Springs lawyer," December 18, 2013
  26. 26.0 26.1 Arkansas Times, "McDaniel officially announces he's out of governor's race," January 25, 2013
  27. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named arkbus
  28. Talk Business.net, "Stars aligning for Mike Ross to reconsider running for governor," December 20, 2012
  29. Arkansasonline.com, "Governor's race follow up," February 12, 2013
  30. The Associated Press - My San Antonio, "Analysis: Dem. race for Ark. gov. in '14 unsettled," March 24, 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1 Arkansas Business, "Bill Halter Quits Race for Governor to Avoid 'Divisive Primary'," July 29, 2013
  32. The Arkansas Times, "Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor," April 17, 2013
  33. Arkansas Secretary of State, "2014 Preferential Primary Elections & Non Partisan General Election, Candidate Information: Lynette "Doc" Bryant," accessed March 3, 2014
  34. thv11.com, "Libertarian Party holds annual state convention," February 22, 2014
  35. Independent Political Report, "The Green Party of Arkansas Announces Candidates for Governor and U S Senate," November 23, 2013
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 National Journal, "Embattled McDaniel Raises More Than $400,000" Accessed January 16, 2013