A new poll has Republican Tom Cotton leading incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) in the race for U.S. Senate by five percentage points.
If the election were held today, Public Policy Polling’s newest Arkansas survey finds that 43 percent would vote for Cotton, compared to 38 percent who would vote for Pryor.
Cotton’s lead is wider than PPP’s previous poll in early August, when he garnered 41 percent to Pryor’s 38 percent.
In PPP’s most recent poll released Tuesday, both Cotton and Pryor receive 77 percent of the vote from within their own party, but Cotton is leading Pryor when it comes to Independents — 53 percent of who say they would vote for Cotton compared to 20 percent who said they would vote for Pryor.
While Cotton is leading in the horse race, he is not running away with the popularity title. Forty percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 41 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Pryor’s favorability numbers were even more upside down, with 36 percent having a favorable opinion of him compared to 51 percent who have an unfavorable opinion.
Overall, Republicans are currently boasting an advantage in Arkansas in the state’s “key races,” including the Governor, State Auditor, State Land Commissioner, Lieutenant Governor Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State’s races.
PPP notes that Obama could be making it difficult for Democrats in the state where President Obama’s approval rating is underwater, with just 31 percent approving compared to 62 percent disapproving of his job performance.
“Arkansas is leaning toward supporting the GOP ticket right now,” Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. “The silver lining for Democrats is that they’re only down by 5 or 6 points in the key races, leaving some room for a comeback.”
The phone and Internet survey was conducted from Sept. 18 to 21 among 1,453 likely voters and has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent.