Not the greatest news but the news isn't all that bad. 63% support the initiative to raise the minimum wage, so Democrats still have that issue they could use to help them pull off a win. Plus Democrats continue to hit Cotton on wanting gut Medicare:PPP's newest Arkansas poll continues to find an incredibly tight race for the Senate. Republican Tom Cotton is at 41% to 39% for Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor, 4% for Green Party candidate Mark Swaney, and 3% for Libertarian Nathan LaFrance. All four PPP surveys of this race in the last year have found the candidates within 3 points of each other one way or another. When supporters of the third party hopefuls are asked who they would choose between the two major party candidates, Cotton's lead remains 2 points at 43/41, suggesting this may be a race where their presence on the ballot won't make a meaningful difference either way.
At least for now Republicans appear to be positioned for a sweep at the state level. In the race for Governor Asa Hutchinson leads Democratic foe Mike Ross 43/38, with Green Party candidate Joshua Drake at 4% and Libertarian Frank Gilbert at 3%. This actually represents a slight improvement for Ross from April when we found him trailing by 8 points. When the third party candidates are taken out of the mix Hutchinson's lead is 46/40.
Republicans hold leads ranging anywhere from 4 to 11 points in all of the down ballot races, although they are still somewhat up in the air because at least 20% of voters are undecided in each of them and many of them find a Libertarian candidate currently polling at 10%.
The closest races are for State Auditor where Andrea Lea leads Regina Stewart Hampton 35/31 and for State Treasurer where Dennis Milligan leads Karen Garcia 36/31. In two races the Republican lead is at 6 points- Mark Martin leads Susan Inman 39/33 for Secretary of State, and Leslie Rutledge leads Nate Steel 38/32 for Attorney General.
The widest leads come for Lieutenant Governor where Tim Griffin leads John Burkhalter 41/32 and for State Land Commissioner where John Thurston leads Mark Robertson 40/29. Elvis Presley is polling at 10% as the Libertarian hopeful in that race, down from his 17% standing in April. - PPP, 8/5/14
And they're now hitting him on this:
Of course Cotton is trying to make this a big issue in the race:Senate Democrats' campaign arm on Tuesday began a $3.6 million ad blitz against Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, starting with his vote against funding pediatric research at an Arkansas hospital.
Cotton, who is to face Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in the fall, was the only member of the Arkansas delegation to oppose the National Institutes of Health establishing a National Pediatric Research Network that would include the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Cotton and 26 other Republicans opposed the measure, which passed the House but remains stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
"I don't know where his priorities are, but they're not with Arkansas children," a former hospital social worker says in the 30-second ad against Cotton from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. - Arkansas Business, 8/5/14
We have tough races here in Arkansas but we can still win them. Pryor and Ross support the state initiatives to raise the minimum wage so they're on the right side of the voters here. Click here to donate and get involved with Pryor and Ross' campaigns:
The ad, which was put on You Tube by the Pryor campaign, which says it is running statewide, says:
“Our southern border. Chaos and crime. Washington made the mess. Senator Mark Pryor voted for amnesty. Citizenship for illegals. Pryor voted against a border fence three times. And now, Pryor ignores the crisis.”
The ad then mockingly shows footage of Pryor saying: “We have a much more secure border today than we did 10 years ago.” The point is that Pryor’s suggestion that the border is more secure today means he’s ignoring the current crisis of migrants crossing into South Texas.
The ad mirrors the broader GOP posture, which is to treat it as a self-evident fact that the migrant crisis shows a border in chaos. In reality, as the Associated Press has explained, the children crossing the border does not tell the broader story here, which is that various metrics suggest that illegal immigration is actually lower than in recent years.
Indeed, this Cotton ad approaches Grade A Ted Cruz/Steve King demagoguery on this issue. What makes this particularly interesting is that Cotton has been hailed as a candidate who unites the Tea Party with the “GOP establishment.” Yet he is now trafficking in rhetoric about immigration that is well outside the comfort level of many in the “GOP establishment” who favor reform.
The Pryor campaign told Politico’s Morning Score today that Cotton did not announce this ad, a claim that the Morning Score crew, who is very plugged into the Senate races, did not question. If this is true, perhaps it’s due to the fact that this is pretty extreme stuff on an issue where the GOP establishment has been pleading for moderation for years now. - Washington Post, 8/5/14