Skip to comments.NYT poll shows Mark Pryor up 10 in Arkansas
Posted on 04/23/2014 7:36:21 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Republicans need to win six Senate seats to take control of the upper chamber, and most scenarios for victory include the Southern seats up for grabs. A poll out today from the New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that may be tougher than first thought. Mark Pryor, considered to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the midterms, has a ten-point lead over his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton:
The survey underscores a favorable political environment over all for Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas states President Obama lost in 2012 and where his disapproval rating runs as high as 60 percent. But it also shows how circumstances in each state are keeping them in play for the Democrats a little more than six months before the midterm elections.
Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a two-term incumbent who has been considered perhaps the most imperiled Democratic senator in the country, holds a 10-point lead over his Republican opponent, Representative Tom Cotton. Mr. Pryor, the son of a former senator, has an approval rating of 47 percent, with 38 percent of Arkansas voters disapproving of him.
Senator Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina, appears more endangered as she seeks a second term. She has the support of 42 percent of voters, and Thom Tillis, the Republican state House speaker and front-runner for his partys nomination, is at 40 percent. Unlike Mr. Pryor, however, Ms. Hagans approval rating, 44 percent, is the same as her disapproval number. In Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, is also effectively tied with his Democratic rival, Alison Lundergan Grimes, a race that may be close because Mr. McConnell, first elected to the Senate in 1984, has the approval of only 40 percent of voters, while 52 percent disapprove. But Ms. Grimes must overcome Mr. Obamas deep unpopularity in the state, where only 32 percent of voters approve of his performance.
With 42 percent support, Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, has an early lead in a race that is not fully formed against a large field of Republicans. Representative Bill Cassidy, the Republican front-runner, was the choice of 18 percent, and 20 percent had no opinion. There are two other Republicans in the race, but Louisiana has no primary. So all candidates of both parties will be on the ballot in November and, absent one of them taking 50 percent, there will be a runoff in December.
The outcome in Arkansas, at least, seems a little odd in contrast to other numbers inside and outside of this poll. For instance, Barack Obama’s approval rating in Arkansas within the NYT/KFF poll is 32/59, and even when his national numbers were much better in 2012, Obama lost Arkansas 37/60 to Mitt Romney. No Democratic candidate for the House even got to 40% in that election.
Furthermore, a quick check of the RCP poll average for Arkansas shows this as an outlier. That’s more true of Cotton’s standing, though, than Pryor’s. His support has been consistent at 46%, although not a great number for an incumbent, especially one with Pryor’s prominent family name. Cotton, though, also polled in the mid-40s even up to earlier this month, when he got 43% in the Talk Business poll, and going all the way back to last summer. Why would he drop to the mid-30s at this point?
I’m inclined to chalk this up as an outlier, but it still should serve as a warning to the GOP, too. It won’t be a cakewalk to beat Pryor, or for that matter to win any of these races. Republicans can run against Obama, whose approval numbers are atrocious across the board, but they’d better be clear as to what they’re for as well. Names like Pryor and Landrieu still carry weight in states Republicans should win this year.
Update: Dr. Pradheep Shanker makes an interesting catch:
Usually, it’s presidential cycles that bring out significant numbers of new voters.
Update: Bill Kristol finds another reason to distrust the numbers:
In other words, the Times and Kaiser have produced a sample in Arkansas that reports they voted in 2012 for Romney over Obama–by one point. But Romney carried Arkansas in 2012 by 24 points. Similarly, the Kentucky sample is +3 Romney when reality was +23. The Louisiana sample is +3 Obama in a state Obama lost by 17, and the North Carolina sample is +7 Obama in a state he lost by 3.
The whole point of question 12 is to provide a reality test for the sample. That’s why they ask that question–we know what happened in 2012, so the only thing to be learned by asking the 2012 question of the sample is to ensure that it’s a reasonably accurate snapshot of voters in the state. Of course there’ll always be some variance between reality and the sample’s report of its vote a year and a half ago–but not a 23 point variance.
Yikes. Interestingly, though, the difference didn’t actually boost Pryor, as I already noted above.
LOL! Yeah right. Pryor’s loss will exceed “Blank” Lincoln’s defeat. Ask about Pryors internal polls, and he is behind 8pts, 3-4 pt margin.
Any poll from the NYT should be taken with a large grain of salt.
I hasten to remind everyone that Nate Silver ( one of the New York Time’s writers, now gone of course ) was the MOST ACCURATE predictor in 2012.
Jason Tolbert of Talk Business reports that Republican-leaning American Crossroads took a poll last week showing the race tied 39-39 with a whopping 22 percent undecided. The poll surveyed 522 likely voters and has a margin of error of 4.29 percent .
Keep lying to the pollsters from the enemy camp, Arkansas conservatives. The ambush is always a excellent strategy in any battle.
I would not be surprised if Pryer, Hagan and Landrieu win. It is damn hard to defeat Santa Claus. And any Republican that tries to out Santa Claus the Democrats is not worthy of our vote. Do not forget, 50+ percent of this country is now on some kind of Government support. I know damn few people that will vote against their own financial interest. Add in the accepted voter fraud in most states and especially the major metropolitan areas that are almost 100% Democrat. What will surprise me is, the Republicans winning a majority in the Senate.
RE: Keep lying to the pollsters from the enemy camp, Arkansas conservatives
And how LARGE and MOTIVATED is the conservative base in Arkansas?
RE: Jason Tolbert of Talk Business reports that Republican-leaning American Crossroads took a poll last week showing the race tied 39-39 with a whopping 22 percent undecided
What’s the matter with these 22%? Do they like their Obamacare?
I wonder why the headline wasn’t Asa Hutchison (41%) leads Mike Ross (40%) in their poll?
Does that mean Mike Ross is getting his butt kicked when the NYTs poll has him slightly losing?
Anything from the slimes is a large grain of something that starts with 's' and ends with 't', I'll give you that.
32% of Arkansans approve of the job Barack Obama is doing,
21% of the people polled in this nonsense aren’t registered to vote. 39% aren’t even paying attention to the election.
Considering NYTimes methodology & when Tom Cotton wins voter fraud from the right will be the next claim!
Probably aren’t paying attention or hung up on the pollster.
My exact first thoughts also. The Times will, if ever, give the truth. They have to keep the good face on the enemy party.
“I hasten to remind everyone that Nate Silver was the MOST ACCURATE predictor in 2012.”
But didn’t it turn out the reason why was that Nate had secret access to the Rat politician’s secret internal polls?
Given the Clintonesque history of that state, this seems an election that could be bought or stolen.
I could retire.
How about a dime for every polls that were RIGHT?
Do people in Arkansas actually LIKE a candidate who says that his opponent feels entitled due to his military service???
I certainly appreciate the NYTs efforts to bolster support for Tom Cotton!
This will help Tom’s fundraising, as folks started relaxing at the prospect of a sure victory.
The Arkansas Republicans are running Asa Hutchinson for Governor.
Hutchinson has run for several different positions in the last decade, but hadn’t won any of them. Now, he will probably challenge former Dem Rep. Mike Ross who stepped down as Rep last session.
Point: The Arkansas Republicans have little pizzazz to offer. Asa running again? He provides about as much excitement as Bob Dole did in 1996.
Pryor’s team is running some very negative ads against Cotton. Of course, they are half-truths and misprepresentations, but they may be having an impact. One says Cotton took money from evil corporate interests. [Yeah, it was called employment.]
I am in the NW region which has been predominately Republican for decades, but that demographic is changing somewhat. I don’t know how Cotton is attacking or running in the other quadrants of the state. NW region is probably pretty safe for him, but Ross was the Rep from the Little Rock and south region.
Ross & Cotton hail from the same district (Ross stepped down in 2010 since he suspected he might lose to Cotton, so wanted to preserve an “undefeated” image). The 4th is exclusively the South section of the state, but does not include Little Rock (which is in the 2nd).
As for Hutchinson, he was a bad choice on its face to run for Governor. He had a disastrous performance in the last 2006 open race for Governor against Beebe. Except for his stint as Congressman, he’s been running unsuccessfully for office statewide for 3 decades (Senator, Attorney General, Governor).
AR is finally realigning heavily to the GOP, but that’s no excuse to run lackluster candidates, especially for Governor.
This is for those who want to know the New York Times polling methodology ( as you showed in the link you provided, thans ):
The New York Times and Kaiser have produced a sample in Arkansas that reports they voted in 2012 for Romney over Obama—by one point. But Romney carried Arkansas in 2012 by 24 points. Similarly, the Kentucky sample is +3 Romney when reality was +23. The Louisiana sample is +3 Obama in a state Obama lost by 17, and the North Carolina sample is +7 Obama in a state he lost by 3.
The whole point of question 12 is to provide a reality test for the sample. That’s why they ask that question—we know what happened in 2012, so the only thing to be learned by asking the 2012 question of the sample is to ensure that it’s a reasonably accurate snapshot of voters in the state. Of course there’ll always be some variance between reality and the sample’s report of its vote a year and a half ago—but not a 23 point variance.
A reputable news organization would have looked at question 12 and thrown the poll out. But then again, it was the New York Times.
Polls merely prepare us for the predetermined outcome, we have gotten so used to it that we don’t even question the result.