Ricky Harrington, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate against Republican Sen. Tom Cotton is touting a poll that puts him only 11 points behind and Cotton short of 50 percent support.
The poll was by American Research Group (B rated by fivethirtyeight.com) and based on live interviews with 600 likely voters on landlines and cell phones.
49-38 with 13 percent undecided?
Well, maybe. That pretty well tracks Cotton’s favorable/unfavorable rating. Mark Pryor got 39 percent when Cotton unseated him six years ago. Says a Harrington release:
With so little known about how Arkansas voters will react to the unusual
choice of just Republican or Libertarian options, the 13% undecided can yet have a large influence one way or the other in this race.
So far, election forecasters like ABC News’ FiveThirtyEight have predicted this race with Cotton winning with over 80% of the Arkansas vote to Harrington’s 18%. The large portion of undecideds in this poll, along with the margin of error, flips the table on what has been seen throughout the election season as an absolute dead lock for Senator Cotton. Considering how little attention has been given to this race by the public and the media, for a relatively unknown challenger to be polling this well is noteworthy.
They hope for an October surprise.
Let’s be real. A Cotton loss would pay astronomical odds at a betting parlor. But we can dream, can’t we? And Cotton is so detested by so many, there’s no way he’s getting 80 percent of the vote. I figure a Harrington percentage greater than Pryor received would be a pretty good commentary on Cotton’s broader electability as he moves toward a presidential race in 2024. 40 percent of the people who know him best would vote for somebody they’ve never heard of rather than Tom Cotton?
Harrington gets some solo exposure next week on Arkansas PBS because Cotton is ducking the debate. Maybe Cotton has some unpleasant poll numbers of his own.