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First-Term Congressman Aims to Topple Pryor Dynasty in Arkansas

Economy, immigration look to be issues in close race.

Alan Goforth


August 21, 2014 - 12:12 am
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Dividing lines

Pryor’s voting record earned him a career 19.8 American Conservative Union rating, while Cotton checks in at 92 percent. Cotton led Pryor by 3 percent in the Real Clear Politics polling average in early August.

In addition, Cotton’s southern Arkansas district is a swing area of the state where experts believe Democrats must over-perform to win. This may be a tall order for Pryor, who must run not only against the likable Cotton but also the unpopularity of Obama.

Pryor’s website argues that the senator “ignores partisan politics to do his very best for the people of Arkansas.”

“Instead of ‘politics as usual,’ Mark works for responsible, bipartisan solutions that secure the future of our nation for generations to come while keeping our commitments to our seniors and veterans,” his campaign states. “With Mark Pryor, ‘Arkansas Comes First.’”

Because Arkansas traditionally ranks near the bottom in per capita income, look for economics to be a hot issue for Cotton. Immigration policy also is likely to be a factor. Arkansas is only one state away from the border, and major employers such as Tyson are labor-intensive. However, Murphy from the NRSC advises voters to focus in on the one factor that likely will decide the race.

“The big issue is Obamacare and Barack Obama’s liberal agenda,” he said. “Only 37 percent of Arkansans voted for Obama in 2012, and nothing has changed since then. That is one big reason why Pryor has been trailing in most polls.”

David Ray, a spokesman for Cotton, agreed: “For the last six years, Sen. Pryor has carried the water for big labor, rubber-stamped President Obama’s health-care demands and taxed and regulated businesses to death. We can do better by electing Tom Cotton, who will work to lower taxes, rein in spending, and start over on true health-care reform.”

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Alan Goforth is a freelance writer in Lee's Summit, Mo. He covered Capitol Hill as part of the University of Missouri School of Journalism's Washington graduate program.

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All Comments   (4)
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Mr Ray is correct! Not only is Arkansas COTTON Country, Tom Cotton is an honorable man who will be a better representative of the people. Pryor has run on his father far too long.
His commercials are so desperate he is with his father to justify his ACA vote.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
As far as Ark going from Demidog to Repub, remember, ALL the South was Demidog until starting about 40-years ago, when it started to switch. The Demidogs are where the Repubs used to be and vice versa.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pryor is a colorless political hack who hooked himself to his father's coattails and then Bill Clinton's. He is ducking debates with Cotton, no doubt because of a keen appreciation of how slow and stupid he would look in comparison.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
[Pryor] was first elected to public office in 1990 as a member of the Arkansas State House of Representatives. Yes, & the state newspaper named him to the "Furniture List", i.e., his presence there was indistinguishable from the furniture, which isn't entirely inaccurate to describe his presence in the U.S. Senate also.

David Pryor was a Democratic fixture in the state, serving in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, and as governor. True again, but political power is not always transferable. Mark IS the incumbent Senator, however, and having his popular Dad campaigning & doing ads speaks volumes that Mark is in trouble. An incumbent Senator not being able to run as his own person on his own record indicates weakness . . . . in my humble view.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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