Despite President Barack Obama's dismal approval ratings, particularly in Southern states, three Democrats long considered vulnerable in the midterm elections may have less to worry about than originally anticipated, NBC News
Polling numbers place Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor ahead of GOP challenger Tom Cotton, while Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, trails the 29-year incumbent by just 1 point.
In Georgia, Democrat Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, is leading all the GOP challengers, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
They are all vying for the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican.
In Arkansas, independent voters appear to be key to this year's election outcomes, according to NBC, which notes that while Pryor is ahead in the Senate race, Republican Asa Hutchinson has a 7-point lead in the Arkansas governor's race over Democrat Mike Ross. Both Pryor and Hutchinson lead among independents.
Independent voters also lean right in Georgia, where incumbent Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has a 10-point lead against challenger Jason Carter — President Jimmy Carter's grandson, according to an Atlanta-Journal Constitution poll reported by GaPundit.com.
In the Blue Grass State, McConnell edges Grimes by 5 percentage points among independents, according to the NBC News-Marist poll.
The poll also shows that traditional Republicans lead tea party rivals in both Kentucky and Georgia.
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