Democrats exiting the sinking ship? Part 15: Arkansas 

“Family concerns” have struck again. Congressman Vic Snyder, Democrats of the 2nd district of Arkansas, has announced he is not running for reelection this year. Snyder is a Marine Corps veteran and a physician who was first elected to the House in 1996 with 52% of the vote. In each election since then he has won at least 58%. As I noted last November, a poll by the Democratic firm PPP showed Snyder leading three little-known Republicans by 44%-43%, 44%-42% and 45%-42%. Snyder voted for the House Democrats’ health care bill; PPP showed that his district’s voters opposed it by a 55%-32% margin. Which may explain his 42%-46% negative job rating.

The 2nd district includes Little Rock and was Barack Obama’s best district in Arkansas, but John McCain carried it 55%-44%.

I was astonished by the PPP poll but am less than astonished by Snyder’s decision to retire. I am sure he has legitimate “family concerns,” but he is still in the prime of life (he turns 63 later this year), and I think those PPP numbers and any internal Democratic polls he may have seen played a part in his decision. This is still a seat a Democrat can hold in November, but it also is clearly a good target for Republicans.

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Michael Barone

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