Man on the edge: Mark Pryor

posted at 1:01 pm on October 19, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

2013 is winding to a close and it’s high time to carve out some space and look at the critical parts of the agenda for next year. At the top of that list has to be the eminently doable task of picking up six seats in the United States Senate and relieving Harry Reid from his oppressive duties as Majority Leader. One of the golden opportunities on this front will be found in the person of current Democrat Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Not everyone would pick Pryor as a likely choice for a GOP takeaway, since the two term Pryor comes from a long established state party machine family (his father was a three term Senator as well as Governor) and has the full support of the Clinton machine in Arkansas. But as a recent analysis by the NRSC shows, Pryor’s career arc in the upper chamber is looking more and more like a replay of Blanche Lincoln.

Meet Blanche Lincoln 2.0… Mark Pryor has the name, has the money, has the Clinton machine, and is running for re-election in Arkansas, a state that proved those talking points won’t get you very far if you are fundamentally misaligned with the electorate.

A quick historical refresher, Lincoln lost her seat by 21-points (despite outspending her opponent by more than 4x).

In 2010, Lincoln and her team were quick to point to her fundraising prowess as a strong indication that she was going to hold her seat despite being in a solidly red state. The FEC shows that she raised over $1 million in each quarter of 2009 and went into 2010 with over $5 million cash on hand – sums very similar to Mark Pryor’s fundraising operation which brought in $1.04 million (an amount lower than both his previous quarter and his challenger Rep. Tom Cotton). Then she lost by 21-points.

Pryor is facing a host of problems, ranging from demographics to being an increasingly bad fit policy-wise with the voters of his state. He did well in his last outing, but that was during a Democratic landslide with heavy Democrat turnout supporting Barack Obama. This cycle will undoubtedly turn out a decidedly older and more conservative voter pool than he saw last time. And on top of the general trends, voters will soon be reminded that Pryor, who represents a fairly red state, has been acting less and less like a free thinker and more like a free range liberal. Take this video of Pryor talking about taxes for example.

PRYOR: What we need is not to use the debt ceiling to hold hostage to try to get our fiscal house in order, we need to do a more comprehensive approach. You know, one of the problems, quite honestly, is that a lot of people don’t want to put taxes on the table. I think we should put taxes on the table. And again I think we should look at the recommendations that have come from Simpson Bowles or some of the other studies.

Yes… that should really go over well with Arkansas voters.

Another area where Pryor has opened himself up to surrendering his seat to the GOP is found in his support of and votes in favor of keeping Obamacare. One of the most recent polls in the field shows precisely how his constituents feel about that topic. Check out these two cascaded responses. The first is the generic, “if the election were held today” between Pryor and Republican Congressman Tom Cotton, who would you vote for.

PRYORPOLL1

Cotton comes out on top, but only by a little. (Certainly not enough to account for the undecided voters and leaners as a slam dunk.) But now watch what happens when voters are informed about Pryor’s record on Obamacare.

PRYORPOLL2

Quite the difference, eh? This is one of the races we should not only be watching, but getting actively engaged in. The GOP, as noted above, is in a remarkably good position this cycle. There are 35 seats in the Senate up for grabs and we’re only defending 14 of them, mostly deep red in nature. Of the remaining 24 seats currently held by Democrats, Republicans only need to pick up six. And Pryor, noted in the NRSC analysis as possibly “the most vulnerable incumbent” among them, should be very high on the list. Tom Cotton is a proven performer and veteran of two wars. He’s already attracting a lot of statewide support at home, but this race is no cakewalk and he can use all the help he can get. You can learn more here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

If the poll didn’t include illegal voters, it isn’t a true reflection of what’s going to happen, come election time.

Wino on October 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I like the way you are thinking here, Jazz. “Relieve Harry Eeid”, indeed.

MTF on October 19, 2013 at 1:36 PM

That was “Reid” before I mistyped it!

MTF on October 19, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Here’s to hoping for Mark’s, son of David, defeat come November 2014.

However, it won’t be a repeat of 2010 when Blanche was kicked out. 1) Pryor won’t have a Clintonite running against him in a Primary, as Blanche had. 2) Moveon.org won’t be spendng money during the Primary to defeat him as they did in 2010 against Blanche 3) The union cabals won’t be spending $12M during the Primary to defeat Pryor as they did in 2010 against Blanche…

He does have his 2010 obamacare vote that will be held against him. He does have his recent vote during the “budget crisis” to keep obamacare fully funded. He does has his sponsorship and vote for CSPIA to still acount for. And his almost 100% voting FOR whatever the obamanation and Harry Reid want will hurt him…

The former 4th Congressional District Representative (currently Tom Cotton), the “blue dog” Mike Ross is running for Governor against no clear R frontrunner. Ross has already moved left as he campaigns. It will be interesting to see his effect on Cotton’s attempt to dethrone the Pryor dynasty…

Then, there is Pryor’s recent divorce that may come into play ala Illinois’ 2006 election…

Gohawgs on October 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Don’t you know the playbook yet?

Of course this race is winable. SO is booting out Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. But the scheme is to get the Republican to say something so offensive against women they won’t vote for him. I predict “rape” questions out the wazzoo in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas (esp. the governor’s race). Let’s see what the Republican candidates have learned.

Marcus on October 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM

OK, I’m from a few states away. I don’t know Tom Cotton. Question #1 has got to be: What is his ideology? If he is an Institutional Republican; the party will probably support him in trying to overthrow Pryor. If he is a Conservative or a TEA Party supporter, the party would rather lose the race. Right now, and for the last couple of cycles, we have seen that the RNC is more worried about making sure that conservatives lose than in defeating Democrats. The Institutionals have spent the last week talking about punishing Conservatives and eliminating the TEA Party.

The last thing Mitch McConnell wants is another Conservative or TEA Party member in the Senate. Note that the NRSCC pretended that Lonegan in New Jersey did not exist. They consider losing by 10% as a victory there instead of being a missed opportunity. Here in Colorado, the state party has actively fought Conservatives once they were nominated and gave our two Senate seats to the Democrats as a gift. This has been repeated for House races nationwide.

Pryor is an opportunity. But it may be one that the national party would rather decline. It is all a matter of priorities. They talk “unity” and “victory” until a Conservative is the candidate. Watch their deeds, and not their words.

Subotai Bahadur on October 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Of course this race is winable. SO is booting out Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. But the scheme is to get the Republican to say something so offensive against women they won’t vote for him. I predict “rape” questions out the wazzoo in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas (esp. the governor’s race). Let’s see what the Republican candidates have learned.

Marcus on October 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM

I’d certainly like to know why I’m getting fvcked by my own government.

katy the mean old lady on October 19, 2013 at 2:21 PM

katy the mean old lady on October 19, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Cuz you are. I’m bringing the Ripple…

Gohawgs on October 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Cotton comes out on top, but only by a little. (Certainly not enough to account for the undecided voters and leaners as a slam dunk.) But now watch what happens when voters are informed about Pryor’s record on Obamacare.

….well…the media has a lot of work to do for Pryor then…don’t they?

KOOLAID2 on October 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM

The best thing about Sen. Pryor is how Bill Maher (one of Democrat’s own) just about handed his Senate seat to the Republicans with one of the best sound bites ever made for campaign ads.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67_FB6-gGZs

BM: It worries me that that people are running my country, who think, who believe in a talking snake.

Sen Pryor: You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate though.

BM:

I think Sen. Pryor made that absolutely clear.

ZachV on October 19, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Send him to retirement hell, pronto.

Schadenfreude on October 19, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Why do the voters have to be informed? People should know what the hell their reps have been up to. Get those iphones out of your a$$es and wake UP.

msupertas on October 19, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Good, but I’m pretty sure the Tea Party can make us lose so don’t get your hopes up.

petunia on October 19, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Good, but I’m pretty sure the Tea Party can make us lose so don’t get your hopes up.

petunia on October 19, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Looks like the TP has already caused you to lose your mind.

Quartermaster on October 19, 2013 at 5:29 PM

There should be, should be, an easy pick up in SD, too.

Mirimichi on October 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM

There should be, should be, an easy pick up in SD, too.

So that is 2. Who are the other 4?

Mirimichi on October 19, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Mark Pryor, or that doc from The Fugitive?

Sherman1864 on October 19, 2013 at 6:43 PM

If a 2-point advantage among voters that don’t know about Pryor’s and Cotton’s votes on Obamacare turns into a 22-point advantage when they do, Cotton should be shouting from the rooftops in every ad about how horrible Obamacare will be for the general public, and how he voted to repeal it.

Republican Senate candidates should also use this strategy in other states, particularly where the Republican is currently an elected member of the House.

Steve Z on October 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM