First off, the caveat with all political news these days: the election is still seven months away, and no one should put too much stock into any one particular poll. That said, this counts as big news given the gloom and doom I’ve heard privately from Democratic politicos lately regarding the Pryor-Cotton Senate race: Talk Business has released a poll showing Sen. Mark Pryor leading Rep. Tom Cotton 45.5 percent to 42.5 percent. The margin of error is 3 percent, so this amounts to a statistical dead heat. I’d hazard a guess that given the political lay of the land in Arkansas and the makeup of the off-year electorate, Cotton remains the favorite, but a 2010-Blanche-Lincoln-blowout situation looks unlikely at this point. It’ll be a fight.
Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Vincent Insalaco released this statement in response to the poll, calling Cotton “the most overrated senate candidate in the country”:
Arkansans are getting to know Congressman Cotton more and more, and it’s clear they don’t like what they see. In his short tenure in Congress, Cotton has repeatedly voted against the best interests of Arkansans in favor of the irresponsible agenda of his Washington special interest backers.
Congressman Cotton voted to end Medicare’s guarantee by turning it into a voucher system and making seniors wait until they’re 70 for benefits. At the same time, he voted against the Violence Against Women Act, affordable student loans and disaster aid that helped Arkansas families recover from ice and floods. Congressman Cotton has consistently put his own blind ambition ahead of Arkansans by voting instead with the Washington special interests spending millions to buy him a senate seat.
Arkansans know and trust Mark Pryor to put Arkansas first, and they haven’t been fooled by Congressman Cotton and his billionaire special interest backers. What this poll does make clear is that Tom Cotton is the most overrated senate candidate in the country.