Could the Arkansas Green Party become one of two parties in the state?

According to an article on, there is a chance that after the next race for governor in Arkanas, the only ballot qualified parties in the state will be the Green Party and the majority Democratic Party.  There is currently an extremely popular Democratic governor who will be up for reelection, and the Arkansas Republicans are having trouble finding a candidate to run against him.  It takes getting three percent or more of the vote for governor for a party to stay on the ballot.  In the somewhat unlikely event that the Republicans didn’t field a candidate, it would probably be a Green against a Democrat, with the ultimate outcome being that these would be the only two remaining ballot qualified parties.

Arkansas law defines a political party as a group of voters that poll at least 3% of the entire votes cast for Governor or President, depending on the election cycle.  If they fail to get 3%, they no longer are recognized as a political party. If they fail to field a candidate for Governor and the Green Party does, it could usurp the GOP’s status as the minority party.

H/T to d.eris

12 thoughts on “Could the Arkansas Green Party become one of two parties in the state?

  1. paulie

    In fact, if the Republicans don’t field a candidate and the Greens don’t get enough petition signatures, Arkansas would have no second party, but would only have ONE officially recognized party in the state.

  2. paulie

    They don’t have to be weak.

    The problem with Arkansas is that it is all about the Governors race, with no alternatives.

  3. d.eris

    Me neither, Morgan, but it turns out they tend Republican mostly in recent presidential elections, that is, since B. Clinton left office and H. Clinton lost the primary to Obama. Otherwise, AK is solidly Democratic, as I noted in a post on the story: “Its governor, Mike Beebe (D), is apparently wildly popular, while the AR state House of Reps currently has “71 Democrats, 28 Republicans and one Green Party member,” and “the 35-member Arkansas Senate has 8 Republicans and 27 Democrats.”

  4. Ross Levin Post author

    I forgot to add to this story – in 2008, the Reps didn’t nominate someone for a Senate race, and there was only one major party candidate in each US House race, so it’s not an impossibility for them not to nominate someone for governor (although still pretty unlikely).

  5. paulie

    I really don’t think the Republicans will want to go through having to petition. They’ll find someone to run, even if it’s a nobody with a paper campaign who gets slaughtered.

  6. Trent Hill

    “What? Arkansas? I wasn’t expecting Arkansas to have a weak Republican Party?”

    They have an incredibly weak party, just like Louisiana and Alabama did pre-1990. Republicans were, regardless of their actual positions, considered northern in nature and Lincolnian in heritage. This made them wildly unpopular for a long time–and continues to hurt them here in the Deep South.

  7. Trent Hill

    “ARKANSAS. State Senate Minority Leader Kim Hendren (R) announced Saturday he will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Blanche Lincoln. In 1982, Hendren was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor in the primary against a young Bill Clinton.”

  8. Tomcat

    This made them wildly unpopular for a long time–and continues to hurt them here in the Deep South.

    It’s important to note how, generally, that trend has changed completely in recent years. Georgia, for example, is solidly Republican, though the Democrats can still challenge to some extent. However, it used to be that this was a Dem state and that was that.

    Arkansas though? They’re a weird state it seems 😉

  9. jason

    I wouldn’t say Republicans are hurt at all in South Carolina (my home state). Both of our senators are Republican, 3/5 of our US reps are Republican, and our General Assembly is dominated by Republicans. The century following Reconstruction, certain areas always voted Democrat and certain areas always voted Republican, and now those areas have completely switched political parties.

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