Arkansas poll: Cotton leads Pryor 51% to 44%; Hutchinson in virtual tie with Ross

Arkansas’ incumbent Democratic senator trails his GOP challenger Rep. Thomas B. Cotton according to a Human Events/Gravis poll of 987 registered voters surveyed July 7-8.

Cotton leads Sen. Mark L. Pryor by a margin of 51 percent to 44 percent, said Doug Kaplan, the president of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that conducted the poll. The poll carries a margin of 3 percent.

“The numbers for Cotton are pretty solid,” he said. “When the poll was filtered for likely voters, Cotton’s lead increases to 51 percent to 43 percent.”

Libertarian Nathan LaFrance polled 5 percent.

Sen. Mark L. Pryor (D.-Ark.)

Sen. Mark L. Pryor (D.-Ark.) (Courtesy)

Kaplan said Pryor’s quest for a third term is further hampered by the voter’s hostility to President Barack Obama. “Only 32 percent of the voters have a favorable opinion of the president—and this is a poll of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.”

The Cotton campaign announced July 14 it raised $2,282,567 from April 1 to June 30. This compares to Pryor’s take during the same period of $1.5 million.

David Ray, the Cotton campaign spokesman said, “Our continued fundraising strength will allow us to highlight Senator Pryor’s lockstep support for President Obama’s agenda, including his votes for Obamacare, bailouts, and other job-killing policies.”

Ray said the campaign is not coasting.

“We don’t put too much stock in any one poll, but it’s encouraging that Tom Cotton has now been ahead in the last eight polls conducted on our race,” he said. “It’s clear that Arkansans want a senator who won’t vote 90 percent of the time with President Obama like Senator Pryor has.”

Watch Cotton’s commercial with his old Army drill sergeant here:

The congressman said to Human Events he feels like he is connecting with the voters, who shared his values.

“Arkansas has a lot of conservative Democrats who are pro-life and strongly support the 2nd Amendment, and I hope to earn their votes,” he said.

The Airborne Ranger veteran of combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan said Pryor’s liberal voting record are at odds with the Arkansas electorate.

“They don’t approve of the fact that Senator Pryor supports late-term abortion, taxpayer funding of abortion, and banning so-called ‘assault weapons,’” he said. “There are a lot of Democrats in our state that disapprove of what President Obama has done over the past six years, and they know I won’t be a rubber stamp for President Obama. Instead, I’ll represent Arkansas.”

The 37-year-old graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School said, “Obviously, the most visible issue has been Senator Pryor’s support for Obamacare, but Arkansans still haven’t forgotten his votes for the wasted ‘stimulus,’ the Wall Street bailouts, and Dodd-Frank.”

Kaplan said the survey also asked about other races for governor and attorney general.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson is in a virtual tie with former congressman Democrat Michael A. Ross, with Hutchinson polling 49 percent to 46 percent, he said. Libertarian Francis Gilbert polled at 5 percent.

In the race for state attorney general, Republican Leslie Rutledge, who was an aide for former governor Michael Huckabee, leads Democrat state Rep. Nate Steel, 51 percent to 41 percent, said Kaplan. Libertarian Aaron S. Cash was the choice of 5 percent of respondents.

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