Poll: Mark Pryor leads GOP challenger for Senate in Arkansas — by 11 points?

posted at 7:21 pm on May 12, 2014 by Allahpundit

Question mark in the headline because … I can’t quite believe it. I can believe that a two-term Democratic incumbent, whose father served as governor and senator, would be ahead of a little-known congressman at this stage. I can also believe, a la the Standard, that Pryor’s lead is inflated because the sample’s tilted too heavily towards Democrats (30/23) in what’s become a reliably red state. But even a smaller margin in party ID would have him ahead fairly comfortably — in Arkansas, where Obama’s job approval stands at a rosy 33 percent and where John Boozman annihilated another Democratic incumbent four years ago.

What’s interesting about the subsamples isn’t how unusual they are but how unusual they aren’t. Despite Arkansas’s conservative bent, Cotton’s facing a lot of the same problems that Republicans are facing nationally.

Party ID. A partisan divide exists. Most Democrats — 89% — back Pryor while only 5% are for Cotton. Among Republicans, most — 85% — support Cotton compared with 10% for Pryor. Among independents, Pryor edges Cotton, 48% to 41%.

Gender. There is a gender gap. A majority of women voters — 55% — are for Pryor while 35% are behind Cotton. Men divide. 46% of male voters support Pryor while the same proportion — 46% — backs Cotton.

Race. While 85% of African American voters support Pryor, white voters divide. 46% of white voters support Pryor while the same proportion — 46% — are for Cotton.

Somehow there are more Republicans in Arkansas willing to vote for the Democrat this year, with some analysts predicting a GOP wave, than there are Democrats willing to vote for the Republican. Pryor’s also considerably more popular than Cotton is, with a favorable rating of 50/35 among registered voters compared to the challenger’s 38/39. And this isn’t the only poll lately to show Pryor with a double-digit lead; here’s how RCP’s tracker looks since February.

rc

The polls showing a small Pryor lead seem more plausible but the average has him up nearly five points right now. What gives? One possibility raised by Fred Bauer is that Democratic populist tactics nationally (raising the minimum wage, equal-pay initiatives, etc) are helping in Arkansas. Pryor leads by more than 20 points among voters who earn less than $75,000, although I wonder if that’s partly a function of the fact that staunchly Democratic black voters are overrepresented among the lower-income demographic. Another possibility that’s hard to ignore from RCP’s table is that Obama’s victory lap after hitting eight million ObamaCare “sign-ups” in April has eased some of the pressure against Pryor locally. He was, after all, the 60th vote for O-Care in 2010; the less sting it has to remind people of that, the better his chances are. That’s a bad omen nationally — unless this poll’s an outlier, of course, in which case never mind.

Update: Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight offers another reason for skepticism of the Marist poll, albeit not one that would eliminate Cotton’s deficit entirely.


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Harry Enten ✔ @ForecasterEnten

@allahpundit percentage whites will make up of the electorate will be 5-7 pts higher than they have it. Unless, something new occurs.
6:10 PM – 12 May 2014

In other words, history will repeat itself, unless it doesn’t.

This guy’s really smart.

steebo77 on May 12, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Poll: Mark Pryor leads GOP challenger for Senate in Arkansas — by 11 points?

The Land of Slick Willy and Shrillary…what’s so shocking about this?

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 12, 2014 at 7:26 PM

The poll is junk. Interesting how the two polls affiliated with major news sources happen to spew narrative creating bias rather than anything in line with reality. Where is the RIA Novosti/Levada poll showing Pryor with 95%? Does Barky and his pocket media think he’s not quite at this level of absurdity yet?

On a side note, what’s up with these massive Facebook buttons and why isn’t Ghostery blocking them? Anybody else have this problem?

Gingotts on May 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Good people of Arkansas, send him packing.

Bmore on May 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM

The poll was taking into account all the dead Democrat voters.

rbj on May 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Prior is usually described as a “blue dog D” or a “moderate” just because he comes from a red state.

His voting record is lock step with Reid and the Ds. There is nothing |”moderate’ about that at all.

Once Cotton starts reminding voters of that over and over again, I’m sure these poll numbers will change.

cat_owner on May 12, 2014 at 7:29 PM

On a side note, what’s up with these massive Facebook buttons and why isn’t Ghostery blocking them? Anybody else have this problem?

Gingotts on May 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Hot Air’s readership skews older, hence the large print buttons.

steebo77 on May 12, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Hot Air’s readership skews older, hence the large print buttons.

steebo77 on May 12, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Well I gather those are the sorts still on Facebook anyway… my gripe is probably more with Ghostery? I have it there to keep Facebook away from my life and privacy.

Gingotts on May 12, 2014 at 7:31 PM

The GOP is simply too incompetent to take advantage of any advantage it might have.

Ossification has set in. Nobody ever does anything outside the box. Since most people are told day in and day out that Republicans suck, and since Republicans refuse to actually defend themselves, the result is that most Americans think that Republicans suck.

After my devout Republican father died, we learned that he’d voted for Kerry in 2004. All Dad did was bitch about how Kerry was a fake war hero.

But the attacks against Bush and Bush’s refusal to defend himself took their toll.

Same thing happened in 2012. Romney refused to defend himself, so the dishonest attacks worked.

Also, Americans don’t take anything seriously anymore. They bitch a lot, but they refuse to actually inform themselves. We’ve become a nation of passive TV watchers.

So don’t be surprised if the Great Red Wave of 2014 isn’t as great or red as you thought it would be.

A Chair of Some Kind on May 12, 2014 at 7:32 PM

I don’t buy the 11-pt deficit, but it seems credible to me that Cotton is down. Much of it has to do with the fact that Pryor has an extensive, well-funded, and expert campaign organization that’s been in operation for over a year, while Cotton has on his side… the clowns at the NRSC.

Make no mistake: if Cotton loses, it’s an NRSC blunder.

Robert_Paulson on May 12, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I’d call BS but look at what happened in 2012. Myself, i am readying plans to leave the country and minimizing another two years of Reid in the senate as majority leader.

jukin3 on May 12, 2014 at 7:33 PM

in Arkansas, where Obama’s job approval stands at a rosy 33 percent

Yeah, but most of the other 67% don’t really mean it.

Deep down inside they just know that the One is the bestest thing to come down the pike evah, and they’re just a little miffed that they haven’t gotten all the free stuff…yet.

Patience my little scum-sucking entitled fellow citizens, patience.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 12, 2014 at 7:34 PM

looks like arkansasans don’t like picking cotton

uatu1878 on May 12, 2014 at 7:34 PM

OK, I might get banned for this but…

FARKEN REALLY?

/meh

Key West Reader on May 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM

A vote for Pryor is a vote for Obama’s agenda.

forest on May 12, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Robert_Paulson on May 12, 2014 at 7:33 PM

A slightly more nuanced take is that Pryor is benefiting from decades of goodwill built-up toward the Pryor family and the fact that enough Arkansans effectively dislike the President but don’t associate Pryor with him.

Cotton’s going to have to make a much more specific case about why Pryor should be tossed and not just why Obama sucks.

Robert_Paulson on May 12, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Arkansas is Clinton/Huckabee Country.

That should be all the explanation you need.

portlandon on May 12, 2014 at 7:43 PM

The poll doesn’t affect my prior view that even if Republicans win the Senate in ’14, they won’t hold it in ’16. Honestly, I’m not sure it matters much if they do win the Senate. Their positions are Dem-lite on issues of importance to me, such as immigration, so who cares? Six of one stupid, half-a-dozen of the other stupid, it ends up stupid either way.

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 7:47 PM

He’s CHEERING for This!!!

williamg on May 12, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Poll: Mark Pryor leads GOP challenger for Senate in Arkansas — by 11 points?

…I think the criterion for all these pollsters…is that they only call people…with at least two first names!

KOOLAID2 on May 12, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Polls are to posts, as trolls are to comments.

MT on May 12, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Ok, I’m biased and live in the far northwest corner of AR but think this poll is crap. People are chomping at the bit to kick Pryor to the curb.

Charlemagne on May 12, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Pryor was never going anywhere, his name was erroneously brought into the discussion of vulnerable Dems through wishful thinking and anecdotal conjecture alone. Let it go.

Eva D. Struktion on May 12, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Just like Georgia is on the verge of electing a democrat senator. Riiiiiight.

SouthernGent on May 12, 2014 at 7:51 PM

…I think the criterion for all these pollsters…is that they only call people…with at least two first names!

KOOLAID2 on May 12, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Well, it is the South where all the women go by two names and the men are generally called Junior or Bubba.

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Let’s face it: Cotton is a racist name in the south …

ShainS on May 12, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Ok, I’m biased and live in the far northwest corner of AR but think this poll is crap. People are chomping at the bit to kick Pryor to the curb.

Charlemagne on May 12, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Up around Pea Ridge? Very cool. I think it’s beautiful up there.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 12, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Just like Georgia is on the verge of electing a democrat senator. Riiiiiight.

SouthernGent on May 12, 2014 at 7:51 PM

You don’t think the Nunn name has some political capital?

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Cotton’s going to have to make a much more specific case about why Pryor should be tossed and not just why Obama sucks.

Robert_Paulson on May 12, 2014 at 7:42 PM

That’s true, particularly for voters who aren’t as engaged. They hear Prior is a “moderate” and think it must be true, particularly if they hear it on NBC or ABC news.

cat_owner on May 12, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Let’s face it: Cotton is a racist name in the south …

ShainS on May 12, 2014 at 7:55 PM

And it is white.

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 8:00 PM

R beating D for governor by 7 points in same poll. So might be hard to blame sample.

Mark1971 on May 12, 2014 at 8:01 PM

R beating D for governor by 7 points in same poll. So might be hard to blame sample.

Mark1971 on May 12, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Unless that 7 is rosy too for the Dems…right?

CW on May 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Surprises after surprises this election year. I wouldn’t be surprise if democrats keep the senate at this rate. The south seems to be looking really favorably at them.

coolrepublica on May 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

looks like arkansasans don’t like picking cotton

uatu1878 on May 12, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Comment of the day. Lolz.

coolrepublica on May 12, 2014 at 8:12 PM

If the GOP was serious about winning this seat, they wouldn’t have gone with an unknown, one-term congressman, but instead, would have begged Huckabee to come back and do it.

ceruleanblue on May 12, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I don’t buy the 11-pt deficit, but it seems credible to me that Cotton is down. Much of it has to do with the fact that Pryor has an extensive, well-funded, and expert campaign organization that’s been in operation for over a year, while Cotton has on his side… the clowns at the NRSC.

Make no mistake: if Cotton loses, it’s an NRSC blunder.

Robert_Paulson on May 12, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Rum0r has it that Cotton’s people made a big ad buy here in NE to support Shane Osborn(establishment favorite) over Ben Sasse.

butch on May 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM

There is another factor very much in play.

1) For the last 20 years, any Republican who defeats a Democrat has to have beaten the “margin of fraud”; approximately 5%.

2) In urban areas, the margin of fraud is unbeatable; with open falsification of vote counts [frequently exceeding the number of registered voters] and threats of physical violence and the forcible ejection of Republican poll watchers and workers.

3) There is nothing to indicate that any part of the Obama regime intends to obey any part of the law. Indeed, Attorney General Holder has openly declared that his enforcement of any laws is totally optional.

4) Assuming that there is something called an election this fall, it is not unreasonable to assume that the regime intends to take the next step and fully falsify the vote to the point where the margin of fraud is greater than any legitimate voting possibility.

5) The media and polling organizations giving this kind of result are branches of the regime, and they may be preparing the ground/anticipating the vote results that have been decided upon.

6) As a caveat, if the Institutional Republicans force through Amnesty and Permanent Open Borders and/or retention of Obamacare as they are promising; the actual vote count will make the fraud superfluous.

7) After an “election” of this sort, the legitimacy of any government so installed is in question.

Subotai Bahadur on May 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM

We’re six months out. Take a breath.

Mr. D on May 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

You don’t think the Nunn name has some political capital?

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 7:58 PM

“Nunn” is, like, 20 years ago,dude!

SouthernGent on May 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

So, how long before Cotton starts pushing amnesty and speaking out against voter ID?

Zuwie on May 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

I can believe it. Let’s face it, the GOP can’t out liberal the Democrats. But they sure will try

Brock Robamney on May 12, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Politics is not fixing the country. We passed that point long ago. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a damn fool.

bgibbs1000 on May 12, 2014 at 8:35 PM

So, how long before Cotton starts pushing amnesty and speaking out against voter ID?
Zuwie on May 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Now that Rand Paul gives him cover, I expect more neocons will come out of the closet. What I can’t figure out is why so many conservatives don’t realize that Rand and Ron Paul are gremlins intending on destroying the GOP. Mission accomplished

Brock Robamney on May 12, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Don’t expect Cotton to produce an effective populist message. His campaign manager is an absolute scoundrel that has his dirty fingers in all sorts of establishment shenanigans. He is also an associate of Mitch McConnell.

http://www.redstate.com/2014/05/06/tom-cottons-campaign-manager-puts-ben-sasses-daughters-in-an-ad-to-attack-ben-sasse/

Wigglesworth on May 12, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Rum0r has it that Cotton’s people made a big ad buy here in NE to support Shane Osborn(establishment favorite) over Ben Sasse.
butch on May 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Osborn is also the favorite of Grover Al Hussein Norquist

Brock Robamney on May 12, 2014 at 8:40 PM

You don’t think the Nunn name has some political capital?

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 7:58 PM

“Nunn” is, like, 20 years ago,dude!

SouthernGent on May 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Jason Carter’s claim to political pedigree is even thinner. People that use the word dude only know Jimmy as that old dude that makes rocking chairs for charity.

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Learn more about Republican Candidate Tom Cotton at his campaign website:

http://www.tomcotton.com/

If you like what you see on Tom Cotton’s website, do what you can to spread the word about his campaign.

Every time I have seen Tom Cotton interviewed on TV, I have been very impressed.

We need Tom Cotton in the U.S. Senate!

wren on May 12, 2014 at 8:41 PM

It was 6 months between Pearl Harbor and Midway, so a lot can happen between May and November.

But this poll is kinda sorta alarming & doesnt bode well for GOP Senate takeover prospects either I dunna think.

Sacramento on May 12, 2014 at 8:41 PM

The recent terrible tornados have given Pryor a temporary bump. He’s delivered the federal aid.

matthew8787 on May 12, 2014 at 8:47 PM

There is no wave election coming. The GOP is too busy kicking its base in the teeth.

Jack_Burton on May 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Rum0r has it that Cotton’s people made a big ad buy here in NE to support Shane Osborn(establishment favorite) over Ben Sasse.

Not Cotton’s McConnells people, one of them happens to be Cotton’s campaign manager, but they’re all McConnell people.

Tom Cotton is coming close to forgetting who brought him to the dance ( tea party) and siding with the establishment.

It hasn’t translated into votes ( if Amnesty fails this year it will be due to no small part because of Tom Cotton)

But I’ll say this if Cotton loses it will be because he hired a McConnell associate as his campaign manager.

MWC_RS on May 12, 2014 at 8:52 PM

D not raise your hope a lot that the Republicans are going to win the Senate… The chances are over 90% that they are not going to do it… May be they will end up netting a gain of 2 to 3 seats at best… However that is not important at all… As long as we retain the House and chances are over 90% that we will then Obama and the democrats agenda will be dead as it was since January 2011… Only the House matters, the Senate is just the icing on the cake…

mnjg on May 12, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Jack_Burton on May 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

You are correct. The are very good at that. But then, you assume that they even know who or what their “base” is? Giving them RINOs too much credit, sir?

The RINOs are too “me-too”. Coulter is correct. The end.

Mr. D on May 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Optimism is for Winnie The Pooh, who looks a lot like Bo(eh)ner. Sorry kids.

Chuck Ef on May 12, 2014 at 9:05 PM

No joke: Marist polled the youngest male in households, skewing the sample to a younger, unmarried demographic:

Respondents in the household were selected by asking for the youngest male.

So they counted Pajama Boy, but not the head of household.

blammm on May 12, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Truly? Only a Democrat in Arkansas is dumb enough to answer the phone when caller id shows no name.

COgirl on May 12, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Women are too busy raising families, thus epitomize the “low information voter” tag. Ds know this, take advantage, and both successfully and hypocritically play the “war on women” game.

Carnac on May 12, 2014 at 9:49 PM

I see this as the same old crap we saw last election where the msm led the voting be slanting the polls. Then unexpectedly the polls were right. We, conservatives, had better pay attention to these “Biased” polls and man the battlements. Complacency is our enemy not biased polls. As for Nunn in GA fugid aboutit. Ain’t going to happen. This is a dream of the left stream media and the good people of GA will never elect Nunn. In fact if you look back in history Sam Nunn, with his beliefs, would be a Republican today.

inspectorudy on May 12, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Is Cotton running any aggressive and negative ads?

One of my problems with GOP establishment candidate campaigns is they always run soft / safe ads and campaigns. They always tell us how electable their candidates are, but they seem to lack the understanding that you better define yourself and opponent before they do that to you, people don’t elect themselves.

Dems always run negative and scare campaigns because they know that the only way low info (aka politically stupid) voters pay attention. Women are especially sustable to this. Not trying to sound sexist, but sometimes they are like scared forest creatures jumping in fright at the first sound of danger. The Dems scream “Boo!” first and they jump.

With that said the poll looks rather bogus to me…but who knows this is the place that gave us the Clintons…

William Eaton on May 12, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Or maybe the conservatives are starting to strike back by turning on RINO’s??

http://www.redstate.com/2014/05/05/does-tom-cotton-want-democrats-to-win/

conservative5 on May 12, 2014 at 11:10 PM

There is no wave election coming. The GOP is too busy kicking its base in the teeth.

Jack_Burton on May 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

I agree with this. I also don’t think it matters. In fact, it might be even worse holding the Senate and House with Obumbles in office. It might shift the burden of his failures to the Republicans, causing 2016 to be even worse than I think it will be.

Then again, none of them are looking out for me, so…a pox on all of them.

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Is Cotton running any aggressive and negative ads?

One of my problems with GOP establishment candidate campaigns is they always run soft / safe ads and campaigns. They always tell us how electable their candidates are, but they seem to lack the understanding that you better define yourself and opponent before they do that to you, people don’t elect themselves.

Once again RINO’s running tough ads on conservatives but not on Democrats even when the RINO is losing. What drives me crazy about RINO’s is if they were to gangster on conservatives but then also on the Democrat that would be winning tough. But they go tough on the conservative in the primary the soft on the Democrat.

conservative5 on May 12, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Rum0r has it that Cotton’s people made a big ad buy here in NE to support Shane Osborn(establishment favorite) over Ben Sasse.

Bingo. Wouldn’t be surprised if conservatives are turning on the RINO. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

conservative5 on May 12, 2014 at 11:23 PM

I thought this whole election was bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers. They’re sure not getting their money’s worth.

notropis on May 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Some right wing groups are hammering at Cotton, such as Redstate, Madison Project, SCF et al.

Kermit on May 13, 2014 at 12:37 AM

white voters divide. 46% of white voters support Pryor while the same proportion — 46% — are for Cotton.

Cotton should explain to the whites in Arkansas what the Caucasian minority Pryor and his party envisions will mean for the future of their state and this country. But I think most Republicans are afraid they’ll be called racists if they try to preserve the nation by preserving its demographic majority.

Buddahpundit on May 13, 2014 at 1:33 AM

Holy eeyores, Batman!

Gymistokles on May 13, 2014 at 2:06 AM

People have been predicting a red wave for a while now, but I remain skeptical for the following reasons:

1) Most voters get their “news” from the alphabet soup of networks, meaning that they know less than nothing and what they know is mostly wrong.

2) The GOP leadership opposes the desires of its voting base and the voting base has taken notice.

3) Voting laws will not only NOT be enforced, they will be actively opposed by this administration.

Think about it: the economy is moribund, people are losing their health insurance plans and their doctors and our foreign policy mirrors our leadership in that is completely without feck. Then think what it will mean for this country when the GOP fails to retake the Senate this year.

::pause::

Are you scared yet? You should be.

Physics Geek on May 13, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Reality is that people like the message of the Democrats. They like what they protray in media and what they espouse in their ads. However, most people are too lazy to look past the propaganda and actually look at the facts.

In the end, it makes no sense, but stupid is as stupid does. It is like these people are on crack cocaine and only Democrats can give them their fix!

libbyscooter on May 13, 2014 at 8:33 AM

I remember people slammed the NBC/Marist state polls in 2012 and they were pretty accurate.

mypalfish on May 13, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Eventually close examination of the data set will reveal a 38% Gimmedat oversample.
Unexpectedly!
But I agree with an earlier post (Jack_Burton on May 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM ): The Republicans are too busy kicking their base in the teeth. Or lower down … if you get my drift.
After all it took Boehner only 19 months AFTER the event to initiate an investigation of an act of war against us since that last Day of Infamy. We ‘T-basers’ are a skeptical bunch to say the least.

Missilengr on May 13, 2014 at 12:58 PM

If Tom Cotton can’t win then this country is so, so screwed.

ramesees on May 13, 2014 at 1:07 PM

There’s no certainty at any point in time whether the Democrats are leading or following in their parade into the abyss, with swirling waves of media, cultural icons, and university nuns. On the other hand, it’s pretty easy to tell that the Republicans are leading their own parade since almost nobody wants to march behind them.

Hey, maybe some more amnesty will fix things for the G.O.P.?

catsmeow on May 13, 2014 at 1:12 PM