Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has surged to a seven-point lead over incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor, according to a poll provided by a conservative group to Politico on Monday. The poll, if accurate, shows that the ongoing failure of Obamacare is taking a huge toll on the red-state Democrat, who supported the law. Earlier polls, taken during the federal government shutdown in October, had shown the race neck-and-neck.
In earlier polls, Cotton had also possibly suffered a minor backlash from his support for President Barack Obama’s proposal for a military strike in Syria. Cotton, however, has stayed focused on Obamacare, which he has long seen as Pryor’s key weakness. Last week, Pryor released an ad in which he held a Bible and said: “The Bible teaches us that no one has all the answers,” apparently imploring forgiveness for his vote.
According to Politico’s James Hohmann, “The poll, conducted by live interviewers, surveyed 400 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent. The sample was 29 percent self-identifying Republicans, 32 percent Democratic and 35 percent independents.” Cotton, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, has strong support from both the Tea Party and from Beltway Republicans who see him as a potential future leader.