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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:51 GMT
Arkansas

President Bill Clinton's home state could be an important litmus test in determining whether the Democrats keep hold of the White House.

Key facts
Population: 2,509,703 (ranked 33 among states)
Governor: Mike Huckabee (R)
Electoral College votes: 6
Historically Arkansas has been one of the South's least Republican states, but the Democrat's success in 1996 was probably more due to support for Mr Clinton than an underlying Democratic affiliation. Mr Clinton also has many enemies in the state and there are signs that Arkansas is now turning Republican.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans
Senate: 1 Democrat, 1 Republican
Rural Democrat strongholds across the state are growing and urbanising and Republicans are gaining popularity within rapidly growing suburbs in Faulkner, Saline and Pulaski counties. If the Democrats do lose Arkansas, then their prospects nationally will not be promising.

Voting record
1996: Clinton 54%, Dole 37%
1992: Clinton 53%, Bush 35%
1988: Bush 56%, Dukakis 42%
Like much of the USA, Arkansas has a wide gulf between its richest and poorest residents, giving it an unpredictable political identity.

Arkansas-born notables include the Wal-Mart shopping tycoon Sam Walton and the Little Rock bankers Jack and Witt Stephens. But Arkansas is also home to one of the nation's poorest districts which stretches across the state's north-eastern third from the Mississippi Delta to the Ozark Mountains.

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Links to more States stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more States stories