Arkansas: Of the 14 gubernatorial seats that Democrats are defending this cycle, this open seat is the only one in a state that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried. Democrats got an unusually strong candidate in former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, which kept the race is play, but the state’s increasingly Republican tilt is proving to be a bit too much. It probably doesn’t help Ross that the state has had a Democratic Governor for the past eight years and voters seem ready for change.

The Republican nominee is Asa Hutchinson, a former member of Congress, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and a former Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The race has been close, but recent polls indicate that Hutchinson has opened up a small but very stable lead. According to the HuffPollster trend line, Hutchinson has a 47.5-percent to 40.8-percent advantage over Ross among all polls conducted in the race.

Now that Hutchinson has just about put the race away, Republicans hope that it bodes well for U.S. Senate nominee Tom Cotton. The race moves

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Charlie "Chuck" Cook