Mandatory Minimums

John Brummet relays word of a noteworthy report on the trials and tribulations of the Republican Party in Arkansas, which may lose its official status as a political party in the state if it fails to run a candidate for governor in 2010. At the state level, Arkansas is solidly Democratic. 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." Talk Business reports that the Green Party could gain if the Republicans do not field a gubernatorial candidate:
Incumbent Democrat Gov. Mike Beebe is enjoying immense popularity with approval ratings ranging from 60% to 80% throughout his first term, in large part due to strong legislative success and a middle-of-the-road governing style. So why would the GOP, with limited resources, a small pool of statewide talent, a large number of open State House and Senate seats, and a contested race for U.S. Senate challenge Beebe? They have to – if they want to remain a political party. 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.

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