Brian Walsh

Recent polling has shown Republican Rick Crawford with an edge over Democrat Chad Causey in the race for Arkansas’ First Congressional District.  Vying to replace long-time incumbent Democrat Marion Berry, Causey has made it clear that he would continue his former boss’s failed record if voted into office.  National Democrats are clearly worried about this DC bureaucrat, who only recently returned to the district in order to run for Congress and has seen his prospects worsen.  In an attempt to salvage the campaign, where Democrats are afraid of losing a seat and reliable vote in Congress, former President Bill Clinton stumped for Causey this past week. 

The amount of national attention being paid to this race by Democrats shows just how troubling the playing field is for the DCCC.  Normally reserved for candidates challenging incumbent Republicans races, AR-01 has been listed in their “Red-to-Blue”, which the name alone shows is a desperate play at keeping this seat in Democrat hands.

Be sure to keep an eye on Crawford and the race in the First District over the next fifteen days while Republicans work to turn Arkansas red.

Original Post: 6/24/2010

Today’s Race of the Day is a perfect illustration of just how much opportunity Republicans have in the Deep South. Veteran Democratic Rep. Marion Berry’s open seat in Arkansas’ Delta region is well within our reach for the first time in history. Driven by a thriving agriculture industry, the Natural State’s 1st District is historically Democratic, having been won by Al Gore as recently as 2000. But last cycle, John McCain won here by a whopping 21 points.

Nestled in the northeast corner of Arkansas, the first district stretches eastward from the borders of Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi towards Little Rock.  It encompasses 26 counties and, with a main population center of Jonesboro, also includes the cities of Newport, Mountain Home, and Stuttgart.  Heavily reliant on its agriculture industry and formed around the fertile Mississippi Delta, this seat, with a Cook PVI rating of R+9, is a prime pick-up opportunity for Republican this fall.

Brian Walsh

Brian Walsh is the Political Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.