As Election Day approaches, most of the major Arkansas races are essentially locked up. Major election models have demonstrated that President Donald Trump will seize Arkansas, as he did in 2016, and that U.S. Senator Tom Cotton will retain his seat in Washington D.C.
One major race is still very much in play. The fight for the 2nd District U.S. House of Representatives seat is up in the air, according to several political analysts, as incumbent U.S. Rep. French Hill dukes it out with state senator Joyce Elliott for control of one of Arkansas’ four House seats.
Two political sites have judged the 2nd District race to be a toss-up between Hill and Elliott. The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections have both declared the race as a toss-up. Both the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections are nonpartisan political analysis sites. However, the Cook Political Report does list the race as a “Republican toss-up.”
Another site, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, which provides political analysis for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, rates the race as “leans GOP.”
At FiveThirtyEight, Hill is “slightly favored” to win the 2nd District. Using an election stimulation model, FiveThirtyEight has shown that Hill wins in 68 percent of the stimulations. The model runs election stimulation 40,000, and FiveThirtyEight provided 100 outcomes to provide a range of scenarios.
Hill is the only major Republican candidate not to be considered “very likely to win” an Arkansas race. President Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton and U.S. Rep. Steve Womack all were judged “very likely to win,” after winning their respective stimulations by roughly 99 percent each.
According to the FiveThirtyEight election model, Hill’s reelection odds have significantly slimmed over time. The model shows that Hill had an 87 percent chance of taking his seat on Aug. 1, a lead that decreased only to 85 percent by Sept. 1. However, by Oct. 1, this lead had dropped to 77 percent. Since that time, Hill has lost nine points, falling to a 68 percent chance of reelection.
On the opposite side, Elliott has grown her election odds by 19 points since Aug. 1. Based on the popular vote margin, Elliott holds 48.5 percent vote margin, while Hill holds the majority at 51.5 percent.