Note: This is an updated version of an earlier post. This post is in response to, and support of the “Bush Dog” project at Open Left. This, like all the other profiles, is a work in progress. If you have any insight or information to add to this profile, please do so in the comments.
Mike Ross is a conservative Democrat from south Arkansas. Elected to his first term in 2000, Ross narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Jay Dickey by 4000 votes. Dickey challenged again in 2002 and only received 40% of the vote. In 2004 Ross ran unopposed and 2006 Ross received over 74% of the vote.
Ross is a member of the Blue Dogs. He votes with the Democratic party 91.4% of the time. Ross has a PPI of 72.79. He is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Science and Technology.
Ross’ voting record is a mixed bag. He has consistently voted against choice, gun control, and civil liberties. On the other hand, he receives high marks for supporting Unions, public health, and fair (not free) trade. He voted to make the PATRIOT Act permanent, to ban flag burning, and to protect the Pledge of Allegiance.
AR-04 is a large rural district in south Arkansas. 26 of the state’s 75 counties comprise the District. Median household income as of 2004 was $30547, the poverty level in the district is near 18%. AR-04 is a geographically diverse area. Much of the eastern part of the district is farmland, while the northwest portion of the district gets into the southernmost part of the Ozarks. South Arkansas is very rural. The west end of the district trends Republican, and generally has a greater overall population density than the east.
In 2004 Bush carried AR-04 by less than 4200 votes with 227,210 cast for the two main candidates (51% to 49%). AR-04 has a Cook rating of D+.5