Poll: Tom Cotton Leads Mark Pryor in Arkansas

Tom Cotton / AP

Republican Rep. Tom Cotton leads Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in the race for Arkansas senator, according to a new poll released Monday by Hickman Analytics Inc.

U.S. News reports:

A poll released Monday by Hickman Analytics Inc. shows Cotton with 51 percent support compared to 42 percent for Pryor among voters most likely to turn out in November. Though Pryor has used the firm for polling in the past, he is not currently a client, according to his campaign.

Among a broader swath of voters, including those less likely to turnout, Pryor closes the gap with Cotton, with the candidates each tallying 46 percent.

The poll shows that voter turnout will be crucial for Pryor.

The poll reveals just how critical a high turnout will be for Democrats in Arkansas. Democrats have historically struggled to get voters to the polls during midterm elections. The most likely voters in midterm elections tend to be older, white and male voters, a constituency that favors Republican candidates. In Arkansas, Democrats are betting on a battle over raising the state's minimum wage will give Pryor a boost; the issue is expected to appear on the ballot in the November election and could mobilize a core Democratic constituency.

Already Pryor has sought to to distance himself  from the Affordable Care Act and unpopular President Barack Obama, who has a 65 percent unfavorable rating in the red state. The HAI poll shows that Pryor is viewed more favorably than Obama. Forty-seven percent of voters view Pryor favorably compared to the 36 percent who view him unfavorably. Thirty-six percent of voters, on the other hand, view Cotton favorably compared to 28 percent who view him unfavorably.