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 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 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.[1][2][3]

Candidates

General election

Republican Party Asa Hutchinson Green check mark transparent.png[4]
Democratic Party Mike Ross[5][6]
Libertarian Party Frank Gilbert[7][8]
Green Party Josh Drake[9]

Term-limited

Democratic Party Mike Beebe - Incumbent

Lost in the primary

Republican Party Curtis Coleman[10]
Democratic Party Lynette Bryant[11]

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.[12][13][14][15]

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.[16][17][18] "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.[19] 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.[20][21]

Ross overtook Lynette "Doc" Bryant for the Democratic nomination in the May 20, 2014 primary election.[22] 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.[20]

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.[7][23][24]

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.[25]

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.[26][25]

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.[27] 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.[28] 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."[29]

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.[30][31]

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.[32][33][34] 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.[35]

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 - 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."[29]

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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Suggest a link

References

  1. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  2. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  3. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  4. The City Wire, "Asa Hutchinson will run for Governor in 2014," January 4, 2013
  5. Arkansasonline.com, "Governor's race follow up," February 12, 2013
  6. The Arkansas Times, "Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor," April 17, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 Times Record, Election 2014: Libertarian Frank Gilbert Announces Bid For Arkansas Governor, October 17, 2013
  8. thv11.com, "Libertarian Party holds annual state convention," February 22, 2014
  9. Independent Political Report, "The Green Party of Arkansas Announces Candidates for Governor and U S Senate," November 23, 2013

  10. Coleman for Arkansas, "Home," accessed April 8, 2013
  11. Arkansas Secretary of State, "2014 Preferential Primary Elections & Non Partisan General Election, Candidate Information: Lynette "Doc" Bryant," accessed March 3, 2014
  12. University of Virginia Center for Politics: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," April 29, 2013
  13. The Washington Post, "The Fix's top gubernatorial races," September 27, 2013
  14. Daily Kos, "Daily Kos Elections gubernatorial race ratings: Initial ratings for 2013-14," October 6, 2013
  15. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 12, 2012
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named arkbus
  17. Talk Business.net, "Stars aligning for Mike Ross to reconsider running for governor," December 20, 2012
  18. Arkansasonline.com, "Governor's race follow up," February 12, 2013
  19. The Associated Press - My San Antonio, "Analysis: Dem. race for Ark. gov. in '14 unsettled," March 24, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 Arkansas Business, "Bill Halter Quits Race for Governor to Avoid 'Divisive Primary'," July 29, 2013
  21. The Arkansas Times, "Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor," April 17, 2013
  22. Arkansas Secretary of State, "2014 Preferential Primary Elections & Non Partisan General Election, Candidate Information: Lynette "Doc" Bryant," accessed March 3, 2014
  23. thv11.com, "Libertarian Party holds annual state convention," February 22, 2014
  24. Independent Political Report, "The Green Party of Arkansas Announces Candidates for Governor and U S Senate," November 23, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 The Republic, "Democrat Mike Ross raises $491K in April for Arkansas governor bid, Hutchinson raises $240K," May 13, 2014
  26. Arkansas Online, "2014 Campaign Contributions, Governors Race," accessed May 15, 2014
  27. Arkansas News Bureau, "McDaniel raises $1 million for governor’s race," October 15, 2012
  28. Arkansas Times, "McDaniel admits 'inappropriate interaction' with Hot Springs lawyer," December 18, 2013
  29. 29.0 29.1 Arkansas Times, "McDaniel officially announces he's out of governor's race," January 25, 2013
  30. Arkansas Code, "Title 7, Section 1-101-21," accessed December 3, 2013
  31. 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
  32. Libertarian Party of Arkansas Website, "History of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas," accessed December 5, 2013
  33. Green Party of Arkansas Website, "Ballot Access," accessed December 5, 2013
  34. Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, "New Political Party Petition--Green Party," November 6, 2013
  35. UALR Public Radio, "Poll: Ross, Hutchinson In Virtual Dead Heat In Governor’s Race," April 6, 2014
  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