New Arkansas poll puts Pryor approval at 34%

posted at 7:21 pm on October 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve known for some time that Mark Pryor is the the most endangered Democrat in the US Senate.  Arkansas tossed out Blanche Lincoln in 2010, losing to John Boozman by 21 points, and Arkansas went for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama last year by 24 points.  Until today’s University of Arkansas poll, though, no one really knew just how endangered Pryor is.  The incumbent Senator has only a 34% approval rating from his constituents, deep into the below-40% danger zone for re-election.

The only bright spot? Boozman isn’t doing much better:

When respondents considered the performance of their elected officials in Washington, D.C., all lawmakers saw drops in approval ratings. John Boozman received his lowest approval ratings yet, 34 percent of likely voters, down from 45 percent last year. Moreover, his disapproval rating jumped to 29 percent of likely voters from 18 percent last year.

Only 34 percent of likely voters approved of Mark Pryor’s performance, down from 53 percent last year. His disapproval ratings were also dramatically higher, with 44 percent of likely voters disapproving of his performance, up from 21 percent last year.

In contrast, both current senators are polling well below the Arkansas Poll numbers for former Sen. Blanche Lincoln during her last year of office. She was voted out of office in 2010. At her lowest in 2009, 43 percent approved and 34 percent disapproved of her performance.

Once again, Arkansans gave low ratings to President Barack Obama, with 29 percent of likely voters approving and 66 percent disapproving of his performance.

Boozman’s drop might give some sense of relief to Pryor, but Boozman has three years before his re-election bid.  Pryor has to stand for election next year, in a red state where his party leader polls worse than he does. Combine that with the disastrous ObamaCare rollout and insurance-cost escalations, and that is a recipe for disaster.

Pryor won’t be able to run on the blame game over the shutdown, either:

When it came to the federal shutdown, which began October 1 and ended Oct. 17, Arkansans blamed the president and his party. A full 37 percent of respondents and 39 percent of likely voters blamed President Obama and the Democrats for the shutdown. Only 26 percent of respondents and 27 percent of likely voters blamed the Republicans in Congress.

Even with that, though, Republicans can’t get too comfortable in this race.  In a matchup with Tom Cotton, the Republican only gets a 37/36 edge over Pryor among likely voters.  The GOP does better in the generic Congressional ballot (38/31) and in the state legislative ballot (41/33).  Still, it’s a virtual tie in the 2016 presidential race between Hillary Clinton and a generic Republican, with Hillary getting the edge (42/44).  A majority of 59% also back a path to citizenship as part of immigration reform, too, which may be a good indicator of Pryor’s campaign messaging next year, especially if immigration reform stalls.

This result is very bad news for Pryor, but it’s not yet good news for the GOP. Republicans have a lot of work to do in Arkansas.


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*sad trombone*

Dack Thrombosis on October 23, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Take a close look. One of the last remaining politicians bearing the title “Blue Dog” left in the world.

Pelosi made this group nearly extinct when she forced them to vote lock step with the progressives to pass Obamacare in the dead of night, Christmas Eve, 2009…thus proving that there are no Blue Dogs, no Pro Life Democrats… that they were merely a fabrication…not even possessed of the seed of truth that would make them legendary… butmerely things of myth and fantasy.

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Until today’s University of Arkansas poll, though, no one really knew just how endangered Pryor is. The incumbent Senator has only a 34% approval rating from his constituents, deep into the below-40% danger zone for re-election.

The only bright spot? Boozman isn’t doing much better:

Sounds about right. A pox on both houses (parties).

besser tot als rot on October 23, 2013 at 7:31 PM

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Pelosi made sure Pryor is hearing banjo’s.

docflash on October 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Pryor and Landrieu MUST go.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Boozman’s 34/29 is bad, but it’s a lot better than Pryor’s 34/44. With 37% undecided it’s partially a name recognition issue.

BuzzCrutcher on October 23, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Pelosi made sure Pryor is hearing banjo’s.

docflash on October 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

…Deliverance!

KOOLAID2 on October 23, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Pryor Changes His Tune on Delay of Individual Mandate

Arkansas senator Mark Pryor, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country, is now supporting a delay of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, according to CNN.

NEW: Democrat @SenMarkPryor tells CNN he wants to extend Obamacare deadline, agrees with @SenatorShaheen (via @psteinhauserCNN )

— Lisa Desjardins (@AskLisaD) October 23, 2013

That’s a change from just one week ago, when Pryor told MSNBC that he opposes a delay. “Health care is going to be a big part of Tom Cotton’s campaign against you,” Chuck Todd said of the freshman congressman who is challenging Pryor for his seat in 2014. “Would you be in favor of a one-year delay in the individual mandate?”

“I am not in favor of that,” Pryor responded. Here he is last week:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/362044/pryor-changes-his-tune-delay-individual-mandate-eliana-johnson

Resist We Much on October 23, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Pelosi made sure Pryor is hearing banjo’s.

docflash on October 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

…Deliverance!

KOOLAID2 on October 23, 2013 at 7:39 PM

;)

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 7:43 PM

You have to wonder if the 59% who back citizenship only want that option if the border is secured first. Also would the citizenship issue be so important that it would be the deciding factor as to who they voted for.

Rose on October 23, 2013 at 7:48 PM

But War on Wimenz…and Sequester and Shut Down…and Mike Lee can’t shop ‘cuz everyone hates him!

JFKY on October 23, 2013 at 8:01 PM

It is simple. Boozman didn’t stand with Cruz and voted for cloture. Conservatives have abandoned him. He really should have listened to his constituents.

CTimbo on October 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Hey Ed: check out the dollar and see how it’s going to crap against the Euro and Pound. Fun times ahead.

celtic warrior on October 23, 2013 at 8:18 PM

If Cotton votes for any so called immigration reform I would write in a candidate if he was on the ballot against Pryor.

Wigglesworth on October 23, 2013 at 8:25 PM

I am most optimistic about Senate Majority Leader McConnell in 2015! And I wouldn’t worry about Boozman relative to the 2014 Senate race. Cotton is much more winning politician than Boozman.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Rose on October 23, 2013 at 7:48 PM

As usual, the question on immigration reform is garbage. The fallacy of ‘paying back taxes’ has already been talked about so no need to elaboreate. The option for allowing them to stay, but not citizenship says “Allow them to become residents WITH NO REQUIREMENTS” That statement was obviously designed to steer people away from the legalize, but no citizenship option because it makes it sound like there are no rules for that.

Wigglesworth on October 23, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Boozman’s ACu rating went from 90 in 2011, to a 76 last year, voting for all manner of wasteful spending. I can understand his stance on Agriculture, but he voted against a check off amendment for small farmers, continued subsidies for wind energy, and to not let the PO address their problems.

I’d also note he voted for funding more federal acquisition of land. It wouldn’t have mattered as much at the time, but considering how the feds treated access to federal land during the shutdown, it should be considered a very black mark on Boozman’s resume in 2016.

[CTimbo on October 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM]

I agree this is probably the most likely reason for his low ratings now.

Dusty on October 23, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Boozman’s ACu rating went from 90 in 2011, to a 76 last year, voting for all manner of wasteful spending. I can understand his stance on Agriculture, but he voted against a check off amendment for small farmers, continued subsidies for wind energy, and to not let the PO address their problems.

Dusty on October 23, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Out of curiosity sparked by this thread, I read up on Boozman. Boozman is a co-chair of the National Hunger Caucus. The Caucus advances the ridiculous notion that hunger is a problem in America that needs to be addressed by political or charitable action. This is the height of insanity in a nation in which one out of seven people get food stamps. If hunger really were a problem in America, don’t you think you may actually encounter a hungry person besides someone who took a hike and forget to take any trail mix? I live beside a famously impoverished neighborhood (the neighborhood the TV show Hill Street Blues was based on), and some how I never see anyone emaciated with hunger, which I should by the logic of the hunger mongers. By his advocacy of the myth of hunger being a problem in America, Boozman just makes it easier for the Left to vilify America as a place where all white people are racist and there are starving children on every street corner.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Landrieu MUST go.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

“Festival! Festival!”

Lanceman on October 23, 2013 at 9:12 PM

As an Arkansan and probably typical conservative I can say that I’m not thrilled with Boozman. He’s proven himself to be a typical moderate squish and was virtually invisible during the shutdown debate.

That being said, there’s no way Pryor will keep his seat here in AR. Flip him over, he’s done.

Charlemagne on October 23, 2013 at 9:19 PM

[thuja on October 23, 2013 at 9:05 PM]

The Hunger meme is a huge farce that was started when activists ran out of starving people to put on posters and were faced with a loss of their government teat to suck on.

I will admit that the activists did a great job in eliminating starvation, but their cushy non-government non-profit jobs were in jeopardy, so they came up with Hunger as the new crisis, and sold it with a host of absurd reasons why we should stamp out hunger, too.

Boozman is just cozying up to Tony the Tiger, Peter Pan, and Snap Crackle and Pop ’cause they benefit from emphasis on maintaining a high demand for foodstuffs.

Dusty on October 23, 2013 at 9:49 PM

As Da Racist Reverand Wright Done Saids…Dem Chikons has Done Comes homes ta Roost!”

Tbone McGraw on October 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM

I thought he said “Naw! Naw! Naw! Not God Bless Amerikkka! God damn Amerikkka!…’

Lanceman on October 23, 2013 at 10:16 PM

thuja

Millions of American children go to bed hungry every night. For example, a child who eats a bag of Doritos and a couple of Little Debbies washed down by a 2L bottle of Mountain Dew goes to bed “hungry” because he was not presented with a properly nutritious meal. Another definition is that the family at any time during the year did not feel they could be sure of food (food insecurity).

Now don’t you feel bad about denying the existence pitiful hunger in America?

deadman on October 24, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Governor Huckabee should be drafted for this.

Fleuries on October 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM