Arkansas gubernatorial election, 2014

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Arkansas Gubernatorial Election
Primary Date:
May 20, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Asa Hutchinson Republican Party
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

Battleground Races
Arkansas House of Representatives

Trifecta gain for Republicans
WhoRunsTheStates Badge.jpg
State executive offices in Arkansas
744px-Flag of Arkansas.svg.png
The Arkansas gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014. Democratic incumbent Mike Beebe was ineligible for re-election because of term limits. His elected successor, Republican Asa Hutchinson, easily defeated Democrat Mike Ross and two minor party candidates for a four-year term.

The race to replace Gov. Beebe was rated a "Toss-up" by The Cook Political Report and Governing.[1][2]

Hutchinson's victory in the November 4 general election made him only the seventh Republican governor in the state's 178-year history. Mike Beebe kept the governor's mansion in Democratic hands over the previous eight years, though he was preceded by Republican Mike Huckabee. Learn more about recent elections for governor in the past elections section.

The competitive gubernatorial race was not the only race on the November ballot that shifted the partisan balance of power in Arkansas. The Republican-controlled Arkansas House of Representatives was flagged by Ballotpedia as one of the top 20 legislative chambers to watch in 2014, while the Arkansas State Senate was expected to remain Republican. Arkansas became a state government trifecta following the 2014 election with Republicans controlling the governor's office and both legislative chambers.

Arkansas is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[3][4][5]

Candidates

General election

Republican Party Asa Hutchinson Green check mark transparent.png[6]
Democratic Party Mike Ross[7][8]
Libertarian Party Frank Gilbert[9][10]
Green Party Josh Drake[11]

Term-limited

Democratic Party Mike Beebe - Incumbent

Lost in the primary

Republican Party Curtis Coleman[12]
Democratic Party Lynette Bryant[13]

Results

General election

Governor of Arkansas, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAsa Hutchinson 55.4% 470,429
     Democratic Mike Ross 41.5% 352,115
     Libertarian Frank Gilbert 1.9% 16,319
     Green Josh Drake 1.1% 9,729
Total Votes 848,592
Election Results via Arkansas Secretary of State.

Primary election

Republican primary

Governor of Arkansas, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngAsa Hutchinson 73% 130,752
Curtis Coleman 27% 48,473
Total Votes 179,225
Election Results Via:Arkansas Secretary of State.

Democratic primary

Governor of Arkansas, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMike Ross 84.4% 129,437
Lynette Bryant 15.6% 23,906
Total Votes 153,343
Election Results Via:Arkansas Secretary of State.


Race background

Democratic incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe was ineligible for re-election in 2014 due to term limits, setting 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 - already labeled Beebe's seat as a "toss-up" and labelled Arkansas among the states most vulnerable to partisan switch in the 2014 gubernatorial election cycle.[14][15][16][17]

Despite announcing in December 2012 that he would not run for governor in 2014, former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross (D) re-emerged as a potential candidate in the wake of state attorney general and expected front-runner Dustin McDaniel's exit from the race.[18][19][20] "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.[21] 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 in fundraising and immediately threw his support behind Ross.[22][23]

Ross overtook Lynette "Doc" Bryant for the Democratic nomination in the May 20, 2014 primary election.[24] Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson defeated businessman Curtis Coleman in the Republican primary, earning the chance to win back the office for their party.[22]

The Libertarian Party and the Green Party selected their candidates for governor by convention. Libertarian nominee Frank Gilbert and Green Party nominee Josh Drake appeared on the November 4 general election ballot with Ross and Hutchinson.[9][25][26]

Money in the race

On May 13, 2014, candidates were required to file pre-primary campaign finance reports detailing their fundraising and expenditures since April 1. Before winning their respective parties' nominations on May 20, Mike Ross (D) and Asa Hutchinson (R) both reported spending more than they took in over the previous month. Ross outraised Hutchinson $491,000 to $240,375, and Hutchinson outspent Ross by about $80,000. A large portion of each candidates' campaign expenditures went toward television advertisements. This was especially true for Hutchinson, who went $439,000 airing his ads across Arkansas—more than triple what Ross spent.[27]

Heading into the May 20 primaries, Ross reported a remaining balance of $2 million, compared to Hutchinson's remaining balance of $904,000. Defeated GOP primary challenger Curtis Coleman raised $62,060 and spent $72,622 in April 2014, while Ross' Democratic primary opponent Lynette Bryant failed to file by the reporting period deadline.[28][27]

McDaniel cancels long-anticipated campaign

In June 2012, term-limited Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) filed paperwork to start raising money for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.[29] McDaniel had been considered the Democratic frontrunner, but revelations that he had engaged in extra-martial relations with a Hot Springs attorney, Andi Davis, whom he met around his 2010 re-election, ultimately proved too significant a publicity threat to his campaign.[30] 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."[31]

Ballot access for political parties

See also: Process for establishing a political party in Arkansas

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 3 percent of the votes cast for that office.[32][33]

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.[34][35][36] In order to maintain their status as political parties without needing to petition for the 2016 elections, their candidates for governor had to receive at least 3 percent of the vote. Frank Gilbert (L) earned 1.9 percent of the vote and Josh Drake (G) earned 1.1 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 depended on who the Democratic and Republican Parties ran in the gubernatorial election. With nominees Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross on the ballot, 3 percent of those polled said they would vote for the Libertarian candidate and 2 percent said they would vote for the Green Party candidate. Had Democrat Lynette Bryant advanced with 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 a ballot including front-runners Ross and Hutchinson, who secured their respective parties' nominations the month after the poll was taken.[37]

Polls

General election
All candidates

Governor of Arkansas: Four-way race
Poll Asa Hutchinson (R) Mike Ross (D)Joshua Drake (G)Frank Gilbert (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Southern Progress Poll
September 7-9, 2014
44%44%2%2%8%+/-3.5600
Gravis Marketing
September 8-11, 2014
46%42%0%2%10%+/-4.0902
Public Policy Polling
September 18-21, 2014
44%38%2%3%13%+/-2.61,453
Suffolk/USA Today
September 20-23, 2014
43%41%2%3%11%+/-4.4500
Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College
October 15-16, 2014
49%41%2%2.5%5.5%+/-2.22,075
NBC News/Marist
October 24, 2014
47%44%2%2%5%+/-3.9621
Opinion Research Associates, Inc.
October 25-26, 2014
42%44%1%2%11%+/-5401
AVERAGES 45% 42% 1.57% 2.36% 9.07% +/-3.66 936
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.

**Due to the nature of the comparison, a placeholder figure of 0% is assigned to candidates not included in any given match-up round Hutchinson vs. Ross (April 2014 - present)

Governor of Arkansas: Hutchinson vs. Ross
Poll Asa Hutchinson (R) Mike Ross (D)Don't knowMargin of ErrorSample Size
NBC/Marist
April 30-May 4, 2014
49%42%7%+/-2.9876
Rasmussen Reports
May 27-28, 2014
48%41%6%+/-4750
Public Policy Poll
August 1-3, 2014
43%38%12%+/-31,066
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
49%38%13%+/-21,991
University of Arkansas
October 21-27, 2014
50%39%11%+/-3.6747
AVERAGES 47.8% 39.6% 9.8% +/-3.1 1,086
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.

Hutchinson vs. Ross (February 2014 - April 2014)

Governor of Arkansas: Hutchinson vs. Ross
Poll Asa Hutchinson (R) Mike Ross (D)Don't knowMargin of ErrorSample Size
Talk Business/Hendrix College
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
Rasmussen Reports
February 4-5, 2014
41%44%12%+/-4.5500
Impact
February 10, 2014
42%42%17%+/-2.831,202
OnMessage
March 11-13, 2014
44%36%15%+/-4.0600
Hendrix College/Talk Business
April 3-4, 2014
43%44%8%+/-3.01,068
Opinion Research Associates
April 1-8, 2014
39%45%17%+/-5.0400
New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation Poll
April 8-15, 2014
41%40%16%+/-4.0857
Public Policy Poll
April 25-27, 2014
46%38%16%+/-3.4840
AVERAGES 42.4% 40.7% 15.6% +/-3.76 774.9
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 - Posted to YouTube 1/5/14

Ross talks about plans to cut taxes for middle class and prioritize education in Middle Class Families - Posted to YouTube May 21, 2014

Asa Hutchinson


In Asa Plan, Hutchinson lays out his "New Job's Plan for 2015 & Beyond" - Posted 4/28/14

Outside organizations

Jobs and Opportunity


Jobs and Opportunity ad: Served

Jobs and Opportunity ad: Butter

Past elections

2010

Governor of Arkansas, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMike Beebe Incumbent 64.4% 503,336
     Republican Jim Keet 33.6% 262,784
     Green Jim Lendall 1.9% 14,513
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 700
Total Votes 781,333

2006

Governor of Arkansas, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMike Beebe 55.6% 430,765
     Republican Asa Hutchinson 40.7% 315,040
     Independent Rod Bryan 2% 15,767
     Green Jim Lendall 1.6% 12,774
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 334
Total Votes 774,680

Voter turnout

Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 82,596,338 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 36.4 percent of the VEP.[38] By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.[39]

Quick facts

  • According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.[40]
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
  • The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Indiana (28 percent), Texas (28.5 percent) and Utah (28.8 percent).
  • Maine (59.3 percent), Wisconsin (56.9 percent) and Alaska (55.3 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
  • There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.[41]
Voter turnout rates, 2014
State Total votes for top office  % voter eligible population Top statewide office up for election Size of lead (Raw votes) Size of lead (%)
Alabama 1,200,000 33.5 Governor 320,319 27.2
Alaska 290,000 55.3 Governor 4,004 1.6
Arizona 1,550,000 34.4 Governor 143,951 12.5
Arkansas 875,000 41.2 Governor 118,664 14
California 7,750,000 31.8 Governor 1,065,748 17.8
Colorado 2,025,000 53.0 Governor 50,395 2.4
Connecticut 1,089,880 42.3 Governor 26,603 2.5
Delaware 234,038 34.4 Attorney general 31,155 13.6
District of Columbia 150,000 30.3 Mayor 27,934 19
Florida 5,951,561 42.7 Governor 66,127 1.1
Georgia 2,575,000 38.2 Governor 202,685 8
Hawaii 366,125 36.2 Governor 45,323 12.4
Idaho 440,000 39.1 Governor 65,852 14.9
Illinois 3,550,000 39.5 Governor 171,900 4.9
Indiana 1,350,000 28.0 Secretary of state 234,978 17.8
Iowa 1,150,000 50.6 Governor 245,548 21.8
Kansas 875,000 42.8 Governor 33,052 3.9
Kentucky 1,440,000 44.2 U.S. Senate 222,096 15.5
Louisiana 1,472,039 43.8 U.S. Senate 16,401 1.1
Maine 625,000 59.3 Governor 29,820 4.9
Maryland 1,750,000 41.9 Governor 88,648 6.1
Massachusetts 2,150,000 43.9 Governor 40,361 1.9
Michigan 3,151,835 42.7 Governor 129,547 4.3
Minnesota 2,025,000 51.3 Governor 109,776 5.6
Mississippi 650,000 29.7 U.S. Senate 141,234 33
Missouri 1,450,000 32.3 Auditor 684,074 53.6
Montana 365,000 46.1 U.S. Senate 65,262 17.9
Nebraska 550,000 41.3 Governor 97,678 18.7
Nevada 600,000 31.8 Governor 255,793 46.7
New Hampshire 500,000 48.8 Governor 24,924 5.2
New Jersey 1,825,000 30.4 N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico 550,000 38.3 Governor 73,868 14.6
New York 3,900,000 28.8 Governor 476,252 13.4
North Carolina 2,900,000 40.7 U.S. Senate 48,511 1.7
North Dakota 248,670 43.8 U.S. House At-large seat 42,214 17.1
Ohio 3,150,000 36.2 Governor 933,235 30.9
Oklahoma 825,000 29.8 Governor 122,060 14.7
Oregon 1,500,000 52 Governor 59,029 4.5
Pennsylvania 3,500,000 36.1 Governor 339,261 9.8
Rhode Island 325,000 41.7 Governor 14,346 4.5
South Carolina 1,246,301 34.8 Governor 179,089 14.6
South Dakota 279,412 44.5 Governor 124,865 45.1
Tennessee 1,400,000 29.1 Governor 642,214 47.5
Texas 4,750,000 28.5 Governor 957,973 20.4
Utah 550,000 28.8 Attorney general 173,819 35.2
Vermont 193,087 38.8 Governor 2,095 1.1
Virginia 2,200,000 36.7 U.S. Senate 16,727 0.8
Washington 2,050,000 41.6 N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia 460,000 31.8 U.S. Senate 124,667 27.6
Wisconsin 2,425,000 56.9 Governor 137,607 5.7
Wyoming 168,390 38.7 Governor 52,703 33.6
United States 82,596,338 36.4

Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on November 19, 2014. The results in this table draw from unofficial results as of November 12, 2014.

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
March 3, 2014 Candidate filing deadline
May 20, 2014 Primary election
June 10, 2014 Primary runoff election
November 4, 2014 General election
November 19, 2014 Deadline for the county board of election commissioners to certify election results
January 13, 2015 Inauguration day for state executive officials in general election

Ballotpedia reports

To learn more about developments in this race, check out the following news articles from Ballotpedia:

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Arkansas + Governor + Election + 2014

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Arkansas Gubernatorial election, 2014 News Feed

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See also

External links

BP-Initials-UPDATED.png
Suggest a link

Campaign links

Asa Hutchinson:

Facebook
Twitter

Mike Ross:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

Frank Gilbert:

Facebook
Twitter

Josh Drake:

Twitter

References

  1. The Cook Political Report, "Governors Race Ratings 2014," September 15, 2014
  2. Governing, "2014 Governors Races," September 10, 2014
  3. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  4. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  6. The City Wire, "Asa Hutchinson will run for Governor in 2014," January 4, 2013
  7. Arkansasonline.com, "Governor's race follow up," February 12, 2013
  8. The Arkansas Times, "Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor," April 17, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Times Record, Election 2014: Libertarian Frank Gilbert Announces Bid For Arkansas Governor, October 17, 2013
  10. thv11.com, "Libertarian Party holds annual state convention," February 22, 2014
  11. Independent Political Report, "The Green Party of Arkansas Announces Candidates for Governor and U S Senate," November 23, 2013

  12. Coleman for Arkansas, "Home," accessed April 8, 2013
  13. Arkansas Secretary of State, "2014 Preferential Primary Elections & Non Partisan General Election, Candidate Information: Lynette "Doc" Bryant," accessed March 3, 2014
  14. University of Virginia Center for Politics: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," April 29, 2013
  15. The Washington Post, "The Fix's top gubernatorial races," September 27, 2013
  16. Daily Kos, "Daily Kos Elections gubernatorial race ratings: Initial ratings for 2013-14," October 6, 2013
  17. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 12, 2012
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named arkbus
  19. Talk Business.net, "Stars aligning for Mike Ross to reconsider running for governor," December 20, 2012
  20. Arkansasonline.com, "Governor's race follow up," February 12, 2013
  21. The Associated Press - My San Antonio, "Analysis: Dem. race for Ark. gov. in '14 unsettled," March 24, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 Arkansas Business, "Bill Halter Quits Race for Governor to Avoid 'Divisive Primary'," July 29, 2013
  23. The Arkansas Times, "Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor," April 17, 2013
  24. Arkansas Secretary of State, "2014 Preferential Primary Elections & Non Partisan General Election, Candidate Information: Lynette "Doc" Bryant," accessed March 3, 2014
  25. thv11.com, "Libertarian Party holds annual state convention," February 22, 2014
  26. Independent Political Report, "The Green Party of Arkansas Announces Candidates for Governor and U S Senate," November 23, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 The Republic, "Democrat Mike Ross raises $491K in April for Arkansas governor bid, Hutchinson raises $240K," May 13, 2014
  28. Arkansas Online, "2014 Campaign Contributions, Governors Race," accessed May 15, 2014
  29. Arkansas News Bureau, "McDaniel raises $1 million for governor’s race," October 15, 2012
  30. Arkansas Times, "McDaniel admits 'inappropriate interaction' with Hot Springs lawyer," December 18, 2013
  31. Arkansas Times, "McDaniel officially announces he's out of governor's race," January 25, 2013
  32. Arkansas Code, "Title 7, Section 1-101-21," accessed December 3, 2013
  33. 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 (timed out)
  34. Libertarian Party of Arkansas Website, "History of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas," accessed December 5, 2013
  35. Green Party of Arkansas Website, "Ballot Access," accessed December 5, 2013
  36. Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, "New Political Party Petition--Green Party," November 6, 2013
  37. UALR Public Radio, "Poll: Ross, Hutchinson In Virtual Dead Heat In Governor’s Race," April 6, 2014
  38. United States Elections Project, "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates," November 7, 2014
  39. TIME, "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low," November 10, 2014
  40. PBS, "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years," November 10, 2014
  41. U.S. News & World Report, "Midterm Turnout Down in 2014," November 5, 2014