Arkansas holds its Democratic and Republican primaries on March 1, 2016. 37 delegates are at stake for the Democrats and 40 delegates for the Republicans. Arkansas is an important state for Hillary Clinton who served as its First Lady during her husband’s years as governor.
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Why The State Is Significant:
• A solid red state, GOP watchers are closely watching the polarizing divide between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. While Rubio has secured the endorsement of the state's establishment types -- including Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson and 28 Arkansas legislators, including in several in leadership positions -- Cruz has lined up endorsements from 18 state legislators aligned with the Arkansas Tea Party.
• It's curious as to what's gotten the Arkansas electorate so electrified: As has been the case in other Super Tuesday states, early voting has been significantly busier this election. By the Thursday before Super Tuesday, more than 100,000 Arkansas had voted, according to the Secretary of State -- a figure which exceeded the number of early voters in the last presidential primary. Considering early voting continued until the evening before Super Tuesday, that's a huge number.
• Arkansas voted Democratic over a span of 23 consecutive elections from Reconstruction until 1964. But this changed with opposition to civil rights legislation. In 1968, the state sided with third-party candidate George Wallace. Since then, it has gone Republican in eight of eleven elections, voting Democratic twice for fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton and once for Jimmy Carter. But in recent elections it's been a solid red state, with the Republican share of votes increasing with each election.
• Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton is popular in Arkansas, having been the First Lady of the state while husband Bill was the governor. In the 2008 Democratic primary, she snagged a whopping 70 percent of the vote, while Obama captured 26.25 percent of the vote. She's expected to be just as popular this time around.