Poll: Cotton: 43; Pryor: 38

Posted: Sep 23, 2014 6:30 PM

A new, left-leaning poll conducted on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee shows Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton (R-AR) trailing incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) by three percentage points.

But is he?

For what it’s worth, a new (also left-leaning) Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey has thrown cold water on that notion.

PPP’s latest offering (which has a D+8 sample, by the way) shows Cotton edging his opponent by five percentage points (43/38).

Cotton, one might say, is ahead for two reasons: (1) He’s attracting large swaths of independent voters (53%) compared to his opponent (20%); and (2) his opponent’s approval ratings are dreadful (36/51), as are the president's (31/62). That latter figure is almost certainly weighing Pryor down.

“Arkansas is leaning toward supporting the GOP ticket right now,” PPP’s president Dean Debnam said in a statement. “The silver lining for Democrats is that they’re only down by 5 or 6 points in the key races, leaving some room for a comeback.”

Stay tuned tomorrow for Suffolk University’s soon-to-be-released findings. If anything, that poll should give us a better understanding -- and more insight -- into who's actually the front-runner.

Editor's note: This post has been updated.