Arkansas Democrats have suffered politically in recent years after Republicans tied the party to President Barack Obama in federal, state and even local legislative races. But now Democrats hope standing with the president during the 16-day federal government shutdown could reverse their fortune and stop a GOP takeover of the state's top offices.
Republicans last year swept all four of Arkansas' U.S. House seats and won both chambers of the state Legislature after tying candidates to the president and his health care law. The same strategy helped the GOP win three of the state's seven constitutional offices two years earlier and beat two-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
For Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor the shutdown could offer a chance to avoid the same fate in next year's election.