NRL News

Arkansas and Kentucky Primaries: “Anybody But Obama” Numbers Grow

by | May 23, 2012

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

On Tuesday Arkansas and Kentucky held primaries to determine the Republican and Democratic party’s nominees for president and for the U.S. House of Representatives. The numbers were fascinating, especially for what they said about mounting doubts among Democrats about President Obama.


Tom Cotton

Pro-life attorney Tom Cotton (R), an army veteran, avoided a runoff in Arkansas’ fourth Congressional district, carrying 57% of the vote in a three-way primary.  His nearest competitor, pro-life Beth Anne Rankin, had 37% of the vote, followed by pro-life John Cowart with 6%.  Cotton will face the winner of the June 12 Democratic runoff between pro-life state Senator Gene Jeffress and attorney Byrum Hurst, whose position is unknown.  The seat, considered to “lean Republican,” is open due to Democratic Rep. Mike Ross’ retirement.  Ross has a mixed record on life issues.


Pro-Life Judge-Executive Thomas Massie won the Republican primary in Kentucky’s fourth congressional district, an open seat because of pro-life Republican Rep. Geoff Davis’ retirement. In a seven-way contest Massie won with 45% of the vote. His nearest competitor, pro-life state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, garnered 27%.  Massie will face Democratic attorney Bill Adkins, whose position is unknown, in what is considered a safe Republican seat.

Andy Barr

In Kentucky’s sixth congressional district, pro-life attorney Andy Barr won in a three-way race, carrying 82% in the Republican primary.  Barr is challenging pro-abortion Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler in a rematch of their 2010 race where Barr lost by a mere 647 votes to Chandler. The race is considered “lean to likely” Democratic.  

On May 29, Texas will hold its congressional and presidential primaries, which were delayed due to court challenges over redistricting.  On June 5, six states will hold Congressional primaries: California, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

According to POLITICO, there are 716 remaining delegates to be allocated in upcoming presidential primaries. California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota will hold their primaries on June 5.


Pro-life Gov. Mitt Romney easily won primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky.  He now has 1,065 delegates, just 89 delegates shy of the 1,144 he needs to win the Republican nomination for President.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic presidential primaries, more than four in ten Democratic voters chose someone—anyone—other than President Obama.  In Arkansas, 41% of Democratic voters chose an unknown perennial candidate, attorney John Wolfe, over President Obama. In Kentucky, 42% of Democratic voters preferred “uncommitted” over Obama.

Just two weeks ago, 41% of West Virginia Democratic voters chose an incarcerated convicted felon, Keith Judd, over the president, displaying a deep dissatisfaction among his own party members in Southern states.

Your feedback is very important to improving National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at

Categories: Politics