Poll: Cotton Leads Pryor in Closely Watched Arkansas Senate Race
Obama and Democrats Blamed for Government Shutdown
In the race deemed essential to a Republican takeover of the Senate next year, a new poll shows GOP Congressman Tom Cotton with a four-point lead over incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor among likely voters statewide and a wide lead among independent voters.
The poll, conducted last week by OnMessage Inc., shows Cotton leading Pryor by 45 to 41 percent. Cotton leads Pryor among independent voters by 49 to 32 percent.
The poll shows that voters in Arkansas are strongly opposed to President Obama and Obamacare. Six in ten Arkansas voters hold an unfavorable opinion of the president. About the same number of voters opposes Obama’s health care law.
Pryor is a longtime supporter of Obamacare. He sided with Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during the recent face-off with the House that led to the partial shutdown of the federal government.
Another new poll, this one conducted by the University of Arkansas, shows respondents blaming Obama and the Democrats for the shutdown. The poll also shows that only 29 percent of likely voters approve of the president, while 66 percent disapprove.
Arkansas is a solidly red state where Republicans have one of the best chances to defeat an incumbent Democrat next year. Republicans need to win six states next year to gain a Senate majority.
The Cotton – Pryor contest is one of the most closely watched in the nation, along with Senate races in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Alaska, where incumbent Democrats are seeking reelection.