New numbers in Arkansas Senate battle
April 10th, 2014
12:27 PM ET
8 months ago

New numbers in Arkansas Senate battle

(CNN) - Mark Pryor is considered one of the most endangered Democratic senators running for re-election this year, but a new poll has some good news for the two-term Arkansas lawmaker.

According to a non-partisan, live operator survey by the Little Rock-based Opinion Research Associates, Pryor has a 48%-38% lead over Rep. Tom Cotton, his Republican challenger, among registered voters statewide.

While Pryor holds a 10-percentage point advantage – which is right at the edge of the poll's sampling error – it should be noted that the incumbent is under 50%. Thirteen percent questioned in the survey said they were undecided. Political experts generally believe that undecided voters tend to break against the incumbent.

The new poll follows the release earlier this week of another independent survey showing Pryor with a smaller three-point edge over Cotton.

Pryor is running for a third term during what's considered a tough political climate for Democrats. Republicans are tying Pryor to President Barack Obama – who won only 37% of the vote in Arkansas in 2012 – and to Obamacare, which remains very unpopular in the state.

Pryor voted for the health care law.

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Making things tougher for Pryor is that unlike in other some other high-profile Senate contests, Republicans are unified behind Cotton, an Iraq war veteran who's considered to be a rising star in the GOP. And Pryor is facing an onslaught of negative television ads mostly from pro-Republican outside groups.

Pryor's re-election bid comes four years after fellow Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln lost her Senate re-election bid by over 20 points. But unlike Lincoln, Pryor, the son of a former senator and governor, does not face a divisive primary challenge.

Pryor's also getting an assist from some pro-Democratic outside groups.

Cotton, meanwhile, has come under attack for his vote against the Farm Bill.

And since this is Arkansas, don't rule out help for Pryor from former President Bill Clinton, who remains popular in his native state.

The Cook Political Report, one of the top non-partisan political handicappers, rates the race as a "toss-up," along with another top handicapper, the Rothenberg Political Report, which rates the contest as "toss-up/tilt Republican."

The results this November in Arkansas' Senate race could decide the fate of the chamber. Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Arkansas.

The Opinion Research Associates poll was conducted April 1-8, with 400 registered voters in Arkansas questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus five percentage points.


Filed under: 2014 • Arkansas • Sen. Mark Pryor • Senate • Tom Cotton
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. kurt

    I've considered this one almost a sure GOP pickup for 6 months now. If this somehow turns into a Democrat hold, it's tough for me to imagine a scenario where the GOP takes the Senate.

    People hoping for that to happen need to hope this poll is an outlier. Very suprising result.

    April 10, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Greg In Arkansas

    Pick Cotton for more Tea Party nonsense......or.....stick with Pryor common sense......
    I know who I will vote for.....

    April 10, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Donna

    While Pryor holds a 10-percentage point advantage – which is right at the edge of the poll's sampling error – it should be noted that the incumbent is under 50%.
    --

    Talk about a total JUNK poll! 10% margin of error??? What bother even doing a poll like this? Sounds like the lefties trying their usual smoke and mirror show. And if they do a poll with a margin of 20%, the Democrats will ALL look like they can get re-elected.

    April 10, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Gwiz

    Explain how you say its a repuglican pickup when the democrat has a 10 point lead ive seen the same thing dems lead over repuglicans in favored pollings and yet the dems are gonna lose glad im not smokin the repuglican hash pipe you got some bad stuff man

    April 10, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Republicans are wasting their time and the Koch brothers money with all the obstruction and negative attacks. Rassmussen Daily Tracking has Obama's approval at 50%, and other polls show the worst congess in history at 12%.

    April 10, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Not really surprising. The GOP has been overconfident in their ability to put up anyone and beat any Democratic Senate incumbent. If their candidates had new ideas and a real record to run on, they would get the seats they are talking about, but if this is any indication, they have their work cut out for them.

    April 10, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    kurt

    I've considered this one almost a sure GOP pickup for 6 months now. If this somehow turns into a Democrat hold, it's tough for me to imagine a scenario where the GOP takes the Senate.

    People hoping for that to happen need to hope this poll is an outlier. Very suprising result
    -------–
    It's an outlier poll with a near 10-point margin of error. RealClearPolitics is perhaps the best barometer as they average all of the polls. They show this (and 6 others) as red pick-ups.

    April 10, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I'm not a constituent, but I will donate to his fund.

    April 10, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. truth hurts but reality bites

    While Pryor holds a 10-percentage point advantage – which is right at the edge of the poll's sampling error – it should be noted that the incumbent is under 50%
    --

    Translation for all of the numbers impaired liberals in here.... it is a tie, but not good an incumbent is below 50%. It almost never bodes well for them. And the campaign hasn't really started yet so we'll see once all of the commercials start coming about that show Pryor still supports Obamacare and helped get it passed.

    April 10, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Denise

    Tea party/GOP never believe any poll results, except those calling it for President Romney. They're more interested in polls on women's issues, guns, religious freedom, taxes.......forget the final ones in November, the only ones that count! Wait a minute, I misspoke.....polls are in favor of more gun control and taxes on the wealthy.....

    April 10, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. You Got It

    I live in NW Arkansas, and I'm voting Tom Cotton – if you live here, you'd understand the true climate.
    The media puts such a spin on things it's crazy – there are just as many Democratic attack ads around here as Republican, but in the end it's really a question of who's the better person – and Cotton is it.
    Pryor will go the same way as Blanche Lincoln – OUT.

    April 10, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. TONE

    Republicans are a bunch of nuts they run on the same old tired out idiology tax cuts for the rich, abortion, guns, no immigration reform, take away healthcare for the poor, and elderly, take away food from kids elderly and disable vets, vote against equal pay for women that is their platform. Come November we will have to have a suicide watches on the Gop.

    April 10, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Fair, its 6 months until the election, so I would not be getting ready to uncork the champagne just yet.

    April 10, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. GOP = Greed Over People

    Quick, get little Scotty Rasmussen some more face time on Fox Fables, to contradict and explain why a soon to be released Raz poll in AK will show the exact opposite!

    April 10, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. The Elephant in The Room

    Arkansas like most RED states is a net taker. The poor uneducated there better we embrace ObamaCare. Pryor is your man to raise the minimum wage. SOCIAL SECURITY MEDICARE VA BENEFITS and various taxes paid by Northeastern states like CT and NY keep Arkansas from floating down the Mississippi. PUT your interests in the hands of another adulterous Republican and see where that gets you. HINT, check out those stalwarts of the good life Mississippi or Louisiana.

    April 10, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Luc

    GOP are using Obama care against him the 2014 election why? Oh I know why like Virginia and other southern states they refuse to offer ACA to there people and even decline federal dollars to help them out. The people of Arkansas and other southern states will wake up eventually when they come out of there caves to find out 7,000,000 other American's have signed up and the GOP are full of donkey dung.

    April 10, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Luc

    GOP are using Obama care against him the 2014 election why? Oh I know why like Virginia and other southern states they refuse to offer ACA to there people and even decline federal dollars to help them out. The people of Arkansas and other southern states will wake up eventually when they come out of there caves to find out 7,000,000 other American's have signed up and the GOP are full of donkey dung.
    -------------------------
    Let's see how long it takes for those red staters to figure out that they are paying for something that their own governors refuse to give them because of ideological partisanship.

    April 10, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I would like to know why there are never any articles stating the GOP is in danger of losing seats? They have done absolutely nothing but obstruct for years now and their approval ratings are the lowest of any Congress in modern history. So how exactly are they poised to do anything except lose? It's like the entire MSM is catering to the do nothing GOP.

    April 10, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |