State Profile Paper

State Profile Paper
General State Politics
Politically, Arkansas was long solidly Democratic, with pockets of Republicans in the mountains of the northwest. President Obama though, has not been popular here. He ran against home state Hillary Clinton in the primaries and Arkansas experienced the biggest drop in Democratic percentage the state has ever seen between the years 1996 and 2008. Since then, Arkansas was even less impressed with Obama as president than they had been with him as a presidential candidate. Democratic Governor Mike Beebe was widely popular and was re-elected in 2006 with weak opposition. But Republicans won the offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and lands commissioners. Democrats went into the 2010 election with a 27-8 and 72-28 majorities in the state Senate and House respectively, and came out ahead by only 20-15 and 55-44. The Democratic 5-1 in the congressional delegation was also overturned to a 4-2 Republican advantage.

State of the State
Arkansas consistently has the second or third lowest income levels and percentage of college graduates of any state. Although these statistics are low, its economy is far more productive than it was half a century ago. Northwest Arkansas is a boom area, housing the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt trucking. Food processing is also a big business, along with the manufacturing of auto parts and medical and construction equipment. Arkansas though, has never had an elite force of plantation owners. This has left a heritage without many traditions and tight standards, but allows talented people to move up in the ranks fast with their breakthrough ideas.

Info on the Governor
The Governor of Arkansas is Democrat Mike Beebe, and is currently serving his second term. He was born outside of a tiny town in Jackson County and frequently moved as a child. He graduated from Arkansas State University, and then then University of Arkansas Law School, and joined...