Arkansas Politicos Twitter Takes On Tuesday's Primaries

Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas politics Twitterverse is a pretty a small place but it has its share of state legislators, who are prolific users, that turned out Tuesday night to add to the endless stream of comments about the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries in Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina.

Check her for NPR’s coverage of primary results.

Marco Rubio’s exit from the Republican presidential race following the loss of his home state of Florida to Donald Trump had State Representative Nate Bell of Mena exploring his third-party tendencies.

Bell flirted with the Libertarian Party as well.

Bell, a Republican turned Independent, had backed Rubio but says #nevercruz and #nevertrump.

Third-party talk, which is fitting for the twitter bubble, is exactly what Ted Cruz backer Bob Ballinger who has served as the campaign's Arkansas chair wants to avoid.

Ballinger, a Republican from Hindsville, continued the call of all candidates not-Trump: for others to rally behind their candidate as the person that can stop Donald Trump.

State Senator Jason Rapert, a Republican from Bigelow, has supported Ted Cruz since Mike Huckabee’s exit from the race after a 9th place Iowa finish. Rapert doesn’t seem upset that Marco Rubio’s reboot of the GOP brand failed. The US Senator from Florida failed to win his home state and dropped out of the race. He re-tweeted a Washinton Post article:

John Kasich, who racked up his only win in his home state of Ohio where is currently governor, is a bridge too far on a cause that is nearest and dearest to Senator Rapert – ending abortion. Kasich has said he would veto a bill in Ohio to restrict abortion to 20 weeks.

Nearly all of Arkansas’s top elected officials backed Marco Rubio in advance of Arkansas’s March 1st primary. The endorsements didn’t mean enough to enough voters as was the case elsewhere for the establishment-backed candidate. He came in third, with Cruz in second, and Donald Trump carrying Arkansas. Maybe most of the Rubio backers had something better to do than tweet Tuesday night but they appeared relatively quiet. Republican House Majority Whip Jim Dotson of Bentonville was an exception.

Dotson got dark.

Governor Asa Hutchinson made a bit of splash with criticism of Donald Trump last month, saying his "words are frightening" but has also said he would support Trump if he is the GOP nominee. NPR's All Things Considered is airing another interview with Hutchinson this afternoon that KUAR's Sarah Whites-Koditschek helped record.