A new internal poll from the Pryor campaign shows the Arkansas Democratic senator leading his Republican challenger Tom Cotton by three points, 46%-43%.
According to the pollster Hickman Analytics,
Senator Pryor holds a lead among likely voters: Pryor 46%, Cotton 43%. In recent weeks, Cotton has lost ground with self-identified moderate voters. Pryor’s lead in this match-up is within the survey’s margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, plus or minus…Both major party candidates have higher favorable ratings than unfavorable ratings. For Pryor, 47% have a favorable opinion, while 39% rate the Senator unfavorably. Cotton’s favorable rating is 43% and his unfavorable is 38%. Intense opinions of the two are nearly identical – 22% strongly favorable and about 25% strongly unfavorable for each candidate.”
This is a poll from the Pryor campaign so it should be taken with a big grain of salt, but the fact that Pryor’s favorability rating remains positive in a red state while he has been under constant attack with negative ads is a testament to the Democrat’s ability to survive in a conservative favoring environment. This poll is more evidence that Republicans have failed to nationalize this election by making it a referendum on President Obama.
Republicans thought they had Arkansas and North Carolina in the bag, but the incumbents in both of those states have run good campaigns that have kept them narrowly ahead. If Republicans blow their opportunity to take back the Senate, they will look back at their inability to defeat Mark Pryor as a main reason.
The idea that Republicans wouldn’t win control of the Senate in 2014 was an unbelievable one six months ago, but with each passing day, the odds of Democrats keeping their majority continue to grow.