In a recent Washington Post article, reporter Jaime Fuller points to the work being done especially by Americans for Prosperity in combining major advertising buys in Arkansas with a heavy ground game.
Fuller notes that the conservative AFP has spent more than $1.4 million on ad buys in the state while mobilizing a “grassroots army,” including 43 volunteers knocking on some 4,000 doors in Northwest Arkansas last weekend, with more AFP volunteers expected to canvass this weekend in Benton County alone.
“Whenever you see us on the air, you can expect us to be heavy on the ground as well,” Jason Cline, AFP’s Arkansas state director, says in the article posted on the paper’s website on March 20.
The article notes that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is hoping to match that by boosting its efforts in the state, too.
Much of the work by each group in Arkansas is centered on the tight U.S. Senate race between the incumbent, Democrat Mark Pryor, and the Republican challenger, first-term U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton.
“The DSCC and Americans for Prosperity both see turnout as key, but they have completely different targets,” the newspaper’s article states. “While Americans for Prosperity has been trying to amp up likely voters, the DSCC hopes to get people who usually don’t pay attention to elections at all to go to the polls this year.”
To read the Washington Post article, click here.
In addition, Arkansans are focusing on the showdown to replace term-limited Democrat Mike Beebe in the governor’s office. Also garnering attention is a slate of local races on the May 20 primary ballot. In Northwest Arkansas, the May 20 ballot includes some hotly contested legislative and judicial elections and a race in Benton County for the prosecuting attorney’s office between Nathan Smith and Kimberly Weber to replace Van Stone, who isn’t seeking re-election.
What all this means for Arkansans is that the already sizable ad buys and door-knocking efforts will grow as the weeks roll by.
That intensity is guaranteed to invite more outside media attention. A participant in last week’s AFP door-knocking effort in Northwest Arkansas tells 5NEWS that CNN is even talking to the group about coming out in a few weeks to focus at least partially on their grassroots work.