Poll: Pryor Leads Cotton In U.S. Senate Race

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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.

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.


  • Mel Sams

    Look where this report came from, CNN. All obama cronies ! Mark Pryor is nothing like his father and he will be packing just like Blance Lincoln. And most never read all of the Farm Bill anyway, they only put out parts of it, the rest of it is where 3 times the amount of people would be collecting food stamps and they didn’t qualify.. So if a News Station is going to put out reports then do it ” Balanced ” and know Everything you are reporting.

  • Jessie

    Pryor all the way!

    Cotton voted to shut down the government costing $24 billion, he voted to slash Veterans benefits and food stamps as well as ending the Affordable Care Act. Many poor people with no hope of medical care now can see a doctor and get themselves well.

    Cotton has chosen to make Medicare a voucher system. Grandpa when you have spent ten grand in one year, that is it. No RX or doctor fees will be paid until next year.

    Pryor has voted to help Veteran benefits, the poor, the farmers, the sick. Who would you want in the Senate taking care of you?

  • txkreddog

    Pryor all the way alright, all the way back to Arkansas for good, or like Blanche Lincoln, all the way out of state. Pryor has proven to be a tax and spend liberal, and a proud, consistent supporter of obama. For some reason liberals cannot understand that spending more than you take in, or taking from those who earn and giving it to those who don’t never ends well. 17 trillion dollars and climbing, and some still want to put a tax and spend liberal back in office. If Arkansas sends this democrat back to the Senate, we as a state, deserve what we will get.

  • Trisha

    Mark Pryor is the best candidate for Arkansas. Cotton works for KOCH brothers and Cotton takes their money and answers to the KOCH brothers.

    Mayflower is a good example of corporations of abusing Arkansas land. Horrific oil spill still not cleaned up by Mr. Oil Executive as yet.

    Democrats are for the people NOT for the PACS that are out of state.

    • Deborah Simpson

      You have to decide if you want your fellow man and their families cared for OR the KOCH brothers who could care less about the people of Arkansas. When you see your taxes go up, the blame will sit right on your shoulders.

      Facts: Tom Cotton came to office Jan. 3, ’03

      In that short time, he has voted every chance he can to take benefits away from Arkansas families.

      Cotton was the ONLY member to vote against aid to Hurricane Sandy victims. Remember all the ice storms, flooding, tornadoes Arkansas has suffered. As states we come to each other’s aid.
      This was an embarrassment to the state of Arkansas since we have taken federal funds to help in many disaster relief situations our state has endured.
      Cotton voted against the continuation of the Violence Against Women Act.  Your wife, daughter, your mother, wouldn’t you want them protected?
      Cotton was the only member of the Arkansas Delegation to vote FOR the Republican voucher system study of lessening Medicare benefits and raising the age of Medicare eligibility date to age 70.
      In May 2003 Cotton called for arming the citizens of Syria thus dragging us into another war. He also suggested a no fly zone over Syria costing taxpayer’s one billion a year (yet he wants to cut benefits to Arkansas most needy citizen).
      Cotton was the only member to vote against the Farm Bill cutting Arkansas farmers throats and we ARE an agricultural state. Farmers don’t have access to loans as in previous years.
      Cotton was the only member of our state delegation in Washington to vote against Student Loan Interest rates. What? Our adult children will be saddled with student loan debt for forty years due to interest rates?

      Cotton potentially violated Ethics Rules by mentioning his Senate Campaign from a radio interview in the Capital. This radio address was done immediately prior to the government being shut down. Rules state no political fundraising can be done on the grounds of the Capital.

      In Nov. ’13 Cotton had a taxpayer funded town hall meeting. Come to find out every single question was pre-screened so answers could be looked up and then when one Democrat attended, they were removed, Hot Springs. Taxpayer town hall? I think not. Pay the money back Mr. Cotton.

      Pryor loves Arkansas and the people. I hope he is re-elected!

    • arnold fudpucker

      You should also check the accuracy of your other claims. I believe most if not all have been repudiated. You also need to consider why the votes were cast the way they were. Many times the vote were cast because of something else that was buried in the bill that was a disaster waiting for a place to happened.

      For instance, consider Obamacare. We still haven’t seen the disasters yet to come because of that piece of bad legislation. By the way, Mr. Pryor championed the Obamacare bill remember?

      Just for grins just what has Mr. Pryor done that is good for AR? He votes party line with Obumma on the votes that count.

      Cotton may not be the best answer but he is most definitely a better choice than legacy boy Pryor.

      • Dora

        Everything is fact checked. Tom Cotton cost us billions. The government shutdown cost America $24 billion. Pet Standard & Poor’s; Memphis Business Journal, 10/17/13.

        Cotton and a small group of reckless congressmen took our country to the brink of default. 10/8/13

        We who have Affordable Care – love it and are so thankful to have medical coverage.

      • John T.

        Just for grins, Pryor voted for everything Cotton voted against. He takes care of his people as well as bringing in big donors and he has plenty of those. Watch out seniors,, you could lose your RX donut hole money, Cotton voted against that too. Senior citizens need all the help they can get. To heck with a voucher system. Enough said.

  • arnold fudpucker

    The claims on the gubbamint shutdown are bogus and you know it. I would prognosticate that if the gubbamint is shutdown it issaving us money by keeping those political pukes from spending more! Besides, Cotton wasn’t the sole reason for the shutdown, there were plenty of demoncrats in there too. Just look at all the money Pryor has cost the state by voting with his liberal buddies. All that free stuff ain’t free scooter!

  • Dora

    Click on the site, read.


    That was Tom Cotton’s own website. Then go to the Congressional Record and read yourself his vote and voting record. It is a matter of public record.

    All the Congressional votes that Cotton voted against such as funding ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL will lose this election for him. People need medical care, food stamps, and Cotton supports STOPPING the aid for our poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

    Mark Pryor has always voted in favor of Veterans, the poor, the farmers, helping whenever he can. You like to say Pryor and Obama are best buddies, but Pryor is non-partisan and has voted with Republicans many times. Pryor and two or three Republican Senators, in a non-partisan spirit solved the government shutdown and put Humpty Dumpty back together again re-opening the government thus ending the bleeding of the federal government. Who is going to pay that back?

    Get your links and prove your facts. Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, factcheck.org to name a few places you might learn something.

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