Here’s your daily headlines and open line to noodle with. Plus, when I get the results of the latest Talk Business/Hendrix College poll on the Pryor-Cotton Senate race, I’ll post them here. Let me hazard a guess that the race is close. Republican polling has tended to have Cotton up and independent polling has tended to have Pryor up.
In advance of the new polling, Politico carried an item supplied by the Pryor camp that said their internal polling showed Pryor up 45-39 among likely voters, with 5.5 percent going to Libertarian and Green candidates. The pollster also said undecided voters split about evenly on whether there’s a “fair chance” they’d vote for either candidate. That gives Pryor a “higher ceiling,” he said. Cotton’s internal polling has him up. So big whoop. Was it released to inoculate against expected poor numbers in the Talk Business poll? We shall see. By the way, that internal Pryor polling also showed Asa Hutchinson in a near dead heat with Mike Ross, leading the Democrat 42-41.
UPDATE: The Talk Business poll has Cotton up 44-42 over Pryor. Big sample of 1,780 with a 2.3 percent margin of error.
The Pryor camp notes a 8 percent participation rate among black voters, who generally vote solidly Democratic. The black vote constituted 11 percent of the turnout in 2010. 14 percent of voters to split among two third-party candidates (4 for Green Mark Swaney and 3 for Libertarian Nathan LaFrance)( and 7 percent undecideds? I’d say my original call of “close” was about the best conclusion to draw. Two previous Talk Business polls had small leads for Pryor. This poll still shows Pryor trailing Cotton among those older than 65, which makes no sense given Cotton’s enmity toward government support programs popular with seniors.
Gender gap continues — women for Pryor, men for Cotton. Independents favor Cotton.
Turnout is the key. Low turnout, Pryor loses. I still think the size of third party candidate vote will be critical. An edge for the Green over the Libertarian has to be translated as a net loss for Pryor.
PS — Remember who most of the votes disqualified in the primary by the new Voter ID law were Democratic absentee votes, many in Delta counties. Now do you see why Republicans passed a vote suppression bill.
Also in the Pryor-Cotton news: Politifact has rated as “mostly false” Cotton’s assertion that Mark Pryor “continues to insist” Obamacare was an “amazing success.” Pryor uttered those two words once, months ago, in the context of a hospital that had added jobs as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Those two words, taken way out of context, have launched a thousand TV ads. And likely will launch many more.