Barack Obama has a novel strategy in Arkansas, a Southern state that likes Democrats: He's not there. The presumptive nominee has no Arkansas office and hasn't even visited in 2 years. Yet analysts aren't surprised, noting that conservative Democrats heavily favor Hillary Clinton and backed President Bush the past two elections. Arkansas also skews whiter than other Southern states, with only a 16% black population.
And it has fewer than half the electoral votes of North Carolina and Georgia, two states Obama has targeted. Yet Arkansas party officials have pledged support, and insiders expect a campaign office shortly—although they may need the candidate to actually show up. “Anyone that breaks bread with me, I’d have more confidence in him,” one voter said.