Once upon a time, Arkansas was a Democratic state and known for being the Land of Clinton. As you will see with the 2020 Arkansas House races, that is nothing but a distant memory.
Like almost every state in the South, Arkansas began a political transformation about 20 years ago. What once was a blue state that had Democratic members of Congress, Democratic governors, and a Democratic legislature is now a reliable red state. Arkansas has not voted for a Democratic president since Bill Clinton in 1996, and what was once a state (within the last 20 years) that was 70-plus percent Democratic in the legislature is now the other way around.
In 2012, the Republicans won all of Arkansas’ House seats for the first time since Reconstruction. That streak continues today, where the Republicans are favored (to varying degrees) in all of the current seats. Interested to see what the individual ratings are for the four congressional districts in Arkansas? We can do that, and that’s why we’re here.
US House Rating Scale
All 2020 races on Electionarium are graded on a 1-4 scale with the handy chart below; there are no tossups ever on this website.
2020 Arkansas House Races Current Prediction Summary: April 3
Current Arkansas US House Map
The entire eastern border of the state is within the 1st District; even with that Mississippi Delta in the district, it’s still as red as anywhere else in Arkansas. When Marion Berry was around, this seat was blue, but as soon as he retired, the GOP grabbed this seat and have not looked back. Donald Trump ran away with the 1st District in 2016, will do so again in 2020, and will watch Rick Crawford get re-elected at the same time. Why? He has no Democratic opponent, or any opposition for that matter.
This is the seat containing Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. It is the least Republican-leaning of the state’s four congressional districts, but that does not necessarily mean it is competitive. Republicans won this seat in the 2010 “Tea Party” wave and have held it ever since. 2018 was a bit of a close run for incumbent French Hill, who only won by about six points in a very good Democratic year. The presidential year turnout surge will help Hill rather than hurt him. The 2nd District is not safe per se, but the Democrats would have to have a surprisingly strong effort in Arkansas to start flipping House seats. This would be the first, but unlikely to happen.
Northwestern Arkansas is quite Republican in nature, which should come as no surprise as the whole state can more or less say the same thing. When the other three districts in Arkansas have had Democrats representing them in modern times, this one has not in over 50 years. 2020 is not the year the Democrats take it back, as such a year may not happen for a very long time. Republicans would get 60 percent of the vote in the 3rd District just by showing up on the ballot, and that’s a baseline. Democratic chances here are almost non-existent.
Here is another congressional district in Arkansas that shed its blue and somewhere in the last decade became solid red. The Republicans behind Bruce Westerman won this seat in a rout in 2018 despite a Democratic tide that saw them gain 41 seats nationwide. A blue wave would have to be more like a tsunami to dislodge this seat from GOP hands in 2020.