Poll: Cotton, Pryor Tied in Ark. Senate Race

Image: Poll: Cotton, Pryor Tied in Ark. Senate Race Rep. Tom Cotton, left, and Sen. Mark Pryor

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 09:22 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican challenger Tom Cotton are in a dead heat, according to a new poll.

Public Policy Polling found the candidates are tied at 44 percent, while in the race for governor, Republican Asa Hutchinson has a slight lead of 44 percent to 43 percent over Democrat Mike Ross.

The survey of 1,002 voters taken for the progressive lobbying group Americans United for Change stands in sharp contrast to a poll conducted a week ago the Citizens United Political Victory Fund by Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway of the polling company Inc./WomanTrend. In that poll of 400 likely Arkansas voters, Cotton led Pryor by seven points, 48 percent to 41 percent.

"Sen. Mark Pryor enters 2014 as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation," Conway said in her polling assessment. "The Arkansas Democrat has a favorability rating well below 50 percent and an opponent more popular than he."

Conway also pointed to the fact that President Barack Obama and Obamacare have "very unfavorable" ratings in Arkansas, which will make the race "much more difficult" for Pryor, who supported the healthcare law.

The Public Policy conducted Dec. 13-15 focused on the issue of minimum wage.

"Increasing the minimum wage is a rare issue that's overwhelmingly popular with Democrats, while also receiving support from more than a third of Republicans. Championing it could help Mark Pryor inspire enthusiasm from the party base, while also helping him win over some voters across the aisle," said Public Policy Polling Director Tom Jensen.

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