Harbinger: Rothenberg changes race rating in Arkansas Senate

posted at 10:01 pm on December 19, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Buckle your seatbelts, Senate Democrats:

The Arkansas Senate race continues to be close and hard-fought. Polling shows the race extremely competitive, and both sides have already spent heavily. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor has spent almost $900,000 on his re-election bid, while Republican challenger Tom Cotton’s campaign has spent more than $300,000. Outside groups have also been heavily involved.

Pryor has run early ads attacking Cotton’s ambition and selected House votes, as well as TV spots that paint the senator’s values in a positive light to crucial Arkansas voters. Republicans have generally tried to demonize Pryor, but Cotton went up recently with a positive, introductory ad featuring the challenger’s mother.

Each side has boosted the other’s negatives, but Democrats have reason to hope that their initial attempts to define the challenger will make it more difficult for him to make headway against Pryor.

Voters in the state currently are able to make the distinction between President Barack Obama’s record and Pryor’s, and the president’s recent job approval dip didn’t seem to hurt him in Arkansas, where he had hit rock bottom earlier. That’s good news for Democrats who hope that in November voters don’t see Pryor as connected at the hip with the president.

But while Pryor’s campaign is off to a good start and seems to have benefited from a strong, aggressive early effort, the last few months have not been kind to Democrats nationally.

The crew at Rothenberg doesn’t think 2014 will look as bad as 2010 did for Demcorats, but they’re moving Arkansas Senate into a closer contest:

We now believe that there is a better than even chance that as November approaches Arkansas voters will want to make a statement about the president’s performance, and the only way they will be able to do that is by their vote in the Senate race. Unless Pryor can drive Cotton’s negatives through the roof, and prevent his own from going there as well, it will be difficult for the senator to survive, no matter how good a race he runs.

Pryor’s up against a man with Ivy League degrees, a head on his shoulders, and an honorable wartime service record, in the year of Obamacare’s failure, with 70-something percent of Americans deeming big government the biggest threat to the nation. If Republicans can’t win this seat…I don’t even know what becomes of them.

Kay Hagan, commence to worrying.

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The Arkansas Senate race continues to be close and hard-fought. Polling shows the race extremely competitive, and both sides have already spent heavily. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor has spent almost $900,000 on his re-election bid, while Republican challenger Tom Cotton’s campaign has spent more than $300,000. Outside groups have also been heavily involved.

There’s an older system where they would just give us stuff. I don’t mean promise to buy us stuff with public money after they’re elected — I mean buy us presents and give them to us in exchange for our votes. This older system is generally thought of as some sort of bad thing.

Yet, I’m beginning to think there are worse things, and I’m beginning to think I’d rather have presents.

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Pryor’s up against a man with Ivy League degrees, a head on his shoulders, and an honorable wartime service record, in the year of Obamacare’s failure, with 70-something percent of Americans deeming big government the biggest threat to the nation. If Republicans can’t win this seat…I don’t even know what becomes of them.

Who cares about Ivy League degrees? Those schools are no better than others.

bluegill on December 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Yet, I’m beginning to think there are worse things, and I’m beginning to think I’d rather have presents.

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

You’d rather have a pint of cheap whiskey?

trigon on December 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Pryor’s up against a man with Ivy League degrees, a head on his shoulders, and an honorable wartime service record, in the year of Obamacare’s failure, with 70-something percent of Americans deeming big government the biggest threat to the nation. If Republicans can’t win this seat…I don’t even know what becomes of them.

I’d agree so long as Cotton isn’t out there declaring he isn’t a warlock or defending his comments about the gag reflexes when it comes to pregnancy following rape.

Put another way, the GOP has lost key elections by lack of proper vetting.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Ivy League degrees

Yeah, that doesn’t have the same swag it used to. Too many clearly stupid pieces of shit swinging those things around lately.

Midas on December 19, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Not to worry. The NRSC is always there to sabotage Cotton’s campaign!

Myron Falwell on December 19, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Cotton’s a great candidate. He’ll win.

GOPRanknFile on December 19, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Kay Hagan, commence to worrying.

Exactly.

Kay Hagan Made The False Obamacare Promise At Least 24 Times

ITguy on December 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM

You’d rather have a pint of cheap whiskey?

trigon on December 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM

. . . at least I’d have something. :)

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Yeah, that doesn’t have the same swag it used to. Too many clearly stupid pieces of shit swinging those things around lately.

Midas on December 19, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Harvard should sue nonpartisan.

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Harvard should sue nonpartisan.

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Agreed. That shine on the floors is deplorable.

viking01 on December 19, 2013 at 10:34 PM

You’d rather have a pint of cheap whiskey?

trigon on December 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Better cheap whiskey than no whiskey!

viking01 on December 19, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Harvard should sue nonpartisan.

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Agreed. That shine on the floors is deplorable.

viking01 on December 19, 2013 at 10:34 PM

ROFL

Bishop on December 19, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Pryor’s up against a man with Ivy League degrees…

If Pryor’s people are smart, they will highlight Cotton graduated from the same Massachusetts university as Obama.

Punchenko on December 19, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Emphasis on “Obama” and “Massachusetts”.

Punchenko on December 19, 2013 at 10:41 PM

There’s an older system where they would just give us stuff. I don’t mean promise to buy us stuff with public money after they’re elected — I mean buy us presents and give them to us in exchange for our votes.

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Whereas now they give the leftist mass media and generally leftist “consultants” presents.

This older system is generally thought of as some sort of bad thing.

Well sure. The wrong people were getting presents, in the opinions of the people who now get presents.

Yet, I’m beginning to think there are worse things, and I’m beginning to think I’d rather have presents.

What? Do you want the geniuses who brought you ORCA unemployed? Do you want reduced funding for the big liberal slander machines with their control of the airwaves guaranteed by the state?

Demeaning you and your values 24/7 takes money, money that would not be available if you were getting the presents instead of them getting the presents.

Why do you hate freedom of speech so much?

David Blue on December 19, 2013 at 10:41 PM

I’ll be interested to see if any of North Carolina’s mountain counties vote for Hagan’s opponent at a 90% clip. I predict at least one of them will get close.

SouthernGent on December 19, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Harvard gives out grades to keep the kiddies happy. Not sure I think that the Ivy schools have much gravitas anymore.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Harvard gives out grades to keep the kiddies happy. Not sure I think that the Ivy schools have much gravitas anymore.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Harvard gives out marching orders and *correct* thoughts for its trained ministers to preach.

Punchenko on December 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Put another way, the GOP has lost key elections by lack of proper vetting.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Or, put another way, the GOP has lost key elections by the lack of any useful or even minimal response to grotesquely biased media gang-bangs of candidates that, although they might have served in elected office perfectly well, were brutalized, demeaned, and discarded for a few unfortunate comments – the sort for which Dem candidates are routinely given free passes. The GOP has lost key elections because it would rather defeat conservatives than Democrats, and because it would rather piss on its oath of service rather than risk disturbing their current cozy, if second-place, situations.

bofh on December 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Harvard gives out grades to keep the kiddies happy. Not sure I think that the Ivy schools have much gravitas anymore.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Gravitas==extremely high progressive status. Haavahd=gravitas regardless of idiocy or criminal traits.

Ceteris Paribus on December 19, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Pryor has now come out with an ad promising to help small businesses who are unfairly hurt by Obamacare. The man is shameless.

Dhuka on December 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM

That’s good news for Democrats who hope that in November voters don’t see Pryor as connected at the hip with the president

…they might notice Pryor’s knee pads though…

KOOLAID2 on December 19, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Pryor has no principles except to screw America.

pat on December 20, 2013 at 12:49 AM

Put another way, the GOP has lost key elections by lack of proper vetting.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Or, put another way, the GOP has lost key elections by the lack of any useful or even minimal response to grotesquely biased media gang-bangs of candidates that, although they might have served in elected office perfectly well, were brutalized, demeaned, and discarded for a few unfortunate comments – the sort for which Dem candidates are routinely given free passes. The GOP has lost key elections because it would rather defeat conservatives than Democrats, and because it would rather piss on its oath of service rather than risk disturbing their current cozy, if second-place, situations.

bofh on December 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Hear, hear to bofh!

Republicans don’t lose races based on poor vetting, or on poor message discipline when you consider the other side gets away with both ALL THE TIME.

What kills our candidates is poor target discipline by other conservatives. We would rather shoot the guy that might or might not have stepped in it rather than saving our ammo for the true enemies of our republic.

Too many conservatives buy into the left’s meme that we ought to be embarrassed by people who step on land mines.

Reminds me of the collective wisdom of the “View” women that was posed to Mrs. Hasselbeck:
“Why do you always have to defend the Republicans?”

Poor Liz never had the nerve to ask the others the obvious response: “Why do you always have to support idiotic, value-less enemies of our country?”

If good people stuck together, Dems would have fewer than 100 seats in Congress. And most of those would be based on the ideology of race, not values.

The fact that they have almost 200, plus the Senate demonstrates our flaws, not our candidates’.

rwenger43 on December 20, 2013 at 1:45 AM

Thanks Mary.

We don’t have a senator up for election this year in our state.

WryTrvllr on December 20, 2013 at 3:21 AM

Polls never tell you the real political breakdown of the electorate because they let people define themselves, and people tend to be very poor judges of their own minds. I blame government control of education, but that’s another subject.

The reality is we probably have 30% of the voting public that is really conservative, 15% that is really liberal/leftist, 10% of some degree of libertarianism apart from either party, 10% non-libertarian independents, and the other 35%, a plurality of voters, haven’t a freaking clue. These “swing” voters are not “moderate” or “persuadable” in the main, they are more fickle and without firm beliefs of any kind.

This is why the “pop culture” aspect of Obama’s campaigns managed to draw in so many of those voters. They aren’t bright enough to look at his first term and say, “Wow, this guy really sucks!” They feel special because he sent them “personal” emails or tweets.

That’s what we are up against.

The good news is even the idiot swing voters are going to be raped by ObamaCare, which will lead to a remarkable, if temporary, clarity of mind.

Adjoran on December 20, 2013 at 5:11 AM

a man with Ivy League degrees

Does this really mean anything?

These ivys don’t seem to be the ones getting it done, they are more the ones skimming off the top. finance, law, politics, etc.

Lonetown on December 20, 2013 at 6:34 AM

Did Pryor vote for the latest budget bill that cuts pensions for wounded warriors? If so, since Cotton is a vet, he should hammer him on that.
Our senator is rumored to be the next amb to China so our D gov gets to appoint an interim senator. It’s already thought to be his Lt gov, who’s also running for Baucus’s seat and this is supposed to give him a leg up. We’ll see.

Kissmygrits on December 20, 2013 at 8:44 AM

If Pryor’s people are smart, they will highlight Cotton graduated from the same Massachusetts university as Obama.

Punchenko on December 19, 2013 at 10:40 PM

The difference is Cotton can prove it.

txhsmom on December 20, 2013 at 9:22 AM

There’s an older system where they would just give us stuff. I don’t mean promise to buy us stuff with public money after they’re elected — I mean buy us presents and give them to us in exchange for our votes. This older system is generally thought of as some sort of bad thing.

Yet, I’m beginning to think there are worse things, and I’m beginning to think I’d rather have presents.

Axe on December 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Wasn’t the stuff they gave “us” traditionally alcohol? Getting drunk for election day is better than socialism, but couldn’t we have a better alternative.

thuja on December 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM

If Cotton can resist the urge to answer abortion and homo questions he might have a chance.

inspectorudy on December 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

a man with Ivy League degrees

Does this really mean anything?

These ivys don’t seem to be the ones getting it done, they are more the ones skimming off the top. finance, law, politics, etc.

Lonetown on December 20, 2013 at 6:34 AM

Skimming off the top and leaving death and destruction in their wake.

Punchenko on December 20, 2013 at 1:19 PM