Sabato: Arkansas Leans Republican, Hutchinson Leads

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 11:07 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Arkansas' gubernatorial race, once deemed a "toss-up" by Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and author of the Sabato's Crystal Ball website, is leaning Republican.

"Arkansas has moved very sharply toward Republicans in recent years at the federal level," Sabato, along with co-writers Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley, write in the Crystal Ball's latest analysis. "The GOP has also made significant gains at the state level, taking full control of the state legislature in 2012 for the first time since reconstruction."

Former U.S. Reps. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, and Democrat Mike Ross are squaring off in the race to replace incumbent Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who is leaving office because of state term limits.

Hutchinson is ahead in state polling and Crystal Ball says it's now leaning toward his attaining the governor's mansion.

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is trying to hold onto his seat.

Sabato told Newsmax TV's "America's Forum" on Tuesday that if he "had to look for an incumbent to lose, I would first look to [Sen.] Mark Pryor."

Republican Rep. Tom Cotton is challenging Pryor for his seat, and has a 3.6-point lead over the incumbent, according to the most recent Real Clear Politics average of polls.

Other Sabato's Crystal Ball Stories:

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