2020 Presidential Elections State-by-State Guide: Bill Clinton's state Arkansas could go the Republican way again
March 3, 2020 (Tuesday)
Democratic delegates: 36 (31 pledged, five super)
Republican delegates: 40
Asa Hutchinson (Republican)
John Boozman (R) & Tom Cotton (R)
All Republicans: Eric Crawford (1st district), French Hill (2nd district), Steve Womack (3rd district), Bruce Westerman (4th district)
Electoral college votes: 6
Donald Trump won all of them in 2016
How Arkansas has voted in the past
Arkansas joined the Union as the 25th state in June 1836 and did not participate in the 1864 election after seceding during the Civil War.
Arkansas had voted for the Democrats for 23 consecutive presidential elections between the Reconstruction and 1964. In 1968, it had gone for a third-party candidate named George Wallace but since then, it has backed the Republican Party in nine out of 12 elections.
Only thrice did it vote for the Democrats — for Jimmy Carter in 1976 and fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. In recent years, the Natural State has turned deep red with the GOP's victory margin getting wider in the last four elections. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton, the state’s former first lady, by almost 27 points.
Despite Clinton's rise, Arkansas has remained a deep red state
Arkansas was inhabited more by Scots-Irish dirt farmers than big plantation owners. The Natural State had fought for the Confederacy barring a few Union men and with a population that is whiter, poorer, older and more rural and lower college education than it is nationally, and that makes it a Republican-leaning state.
For the Democrats, however, it is something disappointing as one of their greatest modern-day politicians, Bill Clinton, belongs to the state.
Arkansas was once a solid blue state with the GOP dominating mountains in the northwest. From the likes of Wilbur Mills to John McClellan to J William Fulbright, the state had once-great Democratic political figures but that is more a story of the past now.
Throughout the Scots-Irish belt of America that runs from western Pennsylvania to the west of Texas, former president Barack Obama was unpopular. Hillary, the wife of Bill, although won the presidential primary in 2016, was thumped by Trump in the general election.
Even in other positions, the GOP has gradually cemented its grip in Arkansas politics.
Arkansas and 2020 presidential election
In the Democratic camp, neither Bernie Sanders nor Joe Biden but former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is leading the primary race though not by far, showed one poll.
In the GOP camp, there have been some instances of disappointment with Trump, particularly his Syria pull-out policy, but those are minute to harm the president’s overall success rate.
Trump had expressed his disbelief in 2018 over his 2016 win against Hillary given the fact that she has strong local clout. The Trump campaign said his victory in 2016 was important for his overall presidential win and the same strategy will be replicated this time as well.