A state that is pretty conservative both fiscally and socially is dominated by Democrats on the state and local level.
While Republicans have won 7 of the last 10 Presidential elections and two of those include Bill Clinton who was a former governor. So it's 7 of 8 with a native son on the ticket. 6 of 6 without a southern Governor on the ticket.
It is the Democrats with a 27 to 8 edge in the state senate and 71 to 28 edge in the state house.
How can this be? What has happened to the state Republican party so that they can't take advantage of the conservative nature of the voters and dominate state politics?
They did have Mike Huckabee as governor a few years back, but he was replaced by Mike Beebe another Democrat in 2007. All told the state has only elected 3 republican governors in its' history.
I think the answer is that organization and history matter. People matter. The Republicans just don't have the right people in the state building a coalition of voters to elect them.