In a poll released by Talk Business and Hendrix College, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) holds a three-point lead over GOP challenger and current Congressman Tom Cotton. Sen. Pryor leads 45.5% to 42.5% with 8% undecided. Pryor is one of several Democratic incumbents seeking reelection this year in Republican leaning states. Republicans and their extremely wealthy donors are targeting Pryor with a full-on assault as they push to flip the Senate over to the GOP. Currently, Democrats hold a five-seat advantage.
Per the poll, Cotton, who has already received an endorsement from the Tea Party, holds a seven-point lead among men. However, he trails Pryor with women by 10 points. Pryor has extremely large leads with black and Latino voters, while Cotton holds a five-point lead with white voters. The Koch-backed Republican also has a large lead with independent voters, 50-34. This, however, is offset by the fact that there are slightly more Democratic voters in the state. Both Pryor and Cotton hold large leads with their parties.
While there are more registered Democrats in Arkansas than Republicans, Arkansas went overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney in 2012, as he carried the state by 24 points. However, Pryor is considered one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate. He will obviously distance himself from President Obama throughout his campaign.
This will be an extremely close race and will likely come down to the wire on Election Day. If Pryor can get a good turnout, and it is quite possible he will since Arkansas also has a governor’s race at the same time, he has a very good chance at pulling this out. Pryor’s double-digit lead with women and huge leads with minorities makes it tough for Cotton to overtake him. Cotton will need a low turnout with the majority of voters being white men to be victorious this November.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).