November 4, 2004 -- Posted 10:30 p.m.
Jonesboro, AR -- Greene, Craighead and Clay counties are the only counties in Region 8 that turned Republican since the presidential race in 2000. So what happened?
"Amendment 3, " said Democratic party chairman in Greene County Charles Willis. "This brought out the folks that are very impassioned about their beliefs, we're all basically raised the same here in the south and by and large whether we're democrats or republicans, compared to the northeast, we're very conservative people."
Willis added from the start he had a bad feeling about Kerry, and he wasn't surprised that Greene County did not go for Senator Kerry.
Local democrats don't believe this trend will continue. They say they're committed to changing the party's message to appeal to the heartland.
"There's going to be a change, they're going to say, o.k., we've talked about this I guess it's like a person that has a problem, they don't get help until they've hit bottom, and I think we've hit bottom," said Willis.
Meanwhile, local republicans believe many of these blue counties will become more conservative in years to come.