Elections
FILE - In this May 11, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Reno, Nev. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) FILE - In this May 11, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Reno, Nev. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)  

Obscure candidate in Ark. optimistic after poll shows him in competitive race with Obama

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

You haven’t heard of John Wolfe because the obscure Democratic candidate for president has raised less than $500, can’t afford radio or TV ads and hasn’t gotten much press.

Yet miraculously, a poll released this week shows Wolfe trailing President Barack Obama in the Arkansas Democratic primary — occurring next week — by just seven points.

In an interview with The Daily Caller on Wednesday, Wolfe described his barebones campaign, saying he thinks the shocking poll numbers in Arkansas are the result of an anybody-but-Obama attitude. He’s optimistic he could pull off an upset.

“I think there’s a chance,” said Wolfe, who is the only person appearing on the Democratic ballot for president with Obama in Arkansas.

“I spent a lot of time in Little Rock,” he told TheDC. “It was very easy to do. Little Rock is a fun city to be in. You can park all day right in front of the Capitol for $2. You can eat a big lunch downstairs at the Capitol basement and visit with politicians for $5.”

Wolfe said he’s campaigned mostly by handing out fliers, which he emails to supporters who copy and distribute them. The fliers have his office and cell phone number on them.

“If people want to talk about issues, I’m right there,” said the lawyer from Chattanooga, Tenn.

One of his supporters in Arkansas is the sibling of an ex-lover.

“I have a would-have-been brother-in-law — in other words, my ex-fiancé’s brother — who is an emergency room doctor in northeast Arkansas. He’s canvassed a lot of support up in that area. He’s pretty well-known.”

One of Wolfe’s problems with Obama is that those who have served as White House chief of staff in the Obama administration — Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley and Jack Lew — all got rich working on Wall Street.

Wolfe also isn’t a fan of Obamacare. He supports a single-payer health care system.

“Healthcare has taken up more and more of our GDP and he comes in and comes up with Obamacare, which is very unpopular in Arkansas and forces people to basically deal with monopolies,” he said.

He also has another theory why Arkansas voters have flirted with him over Obama.

“He hasn’t visited the South much either,” Wolfe said. “He hasn’t shown a lot of concern for the issues here.”

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