Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) has spent a lot of time trying to prove to Arkansans that he is independent from national Democrats. Back in May, the two-term Democrat used his vote against more onerous gun control measures, which were overwhelmingly backed by his party, as an example.
And while the two-term Democrat has been trying to play up his independence from national Democrats, Pryor has continued to support ObamaCare, the controversial 2010 healthcare law. He’s claimed that he’s been “vindicated” for his support of the law due to the Republican-controlled legislature’s expansion of Medicaid.
But a new internal poll from the National Republican Senatorial Committee shows that Arkansans have soured on Pryor and may be ready to call him back home because of his unapologetic support for ObamaCare:
An internal poll conducted in Arkansas for the National Republican Senatorial Committee puts GOP Rep. Tom Cotton head of incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor by 2 percentage points.
The freshman congressman led the two-term senator 44 percent to 42 percent in a survey taken two weeks ago, ahead of his official campaign launch.
The numbers, obtained by POLITICO, also show that Pryor’s support for Obamacare will hurt him in that state as the right puts real money behind ads highlighting his pivotal 2010 vote.
Told that Pryor voted for Obamacare while Cotton voted to repeal it, 55 percent of voters said this would make them more likely to vote for Cotton, and 33 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for Pryor. That spread was even greater among independents and ticket-splitters.
This seat will be one worth watching next year as Republicans hope to take control of the Senate. Pryor’s Republican opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), has already been endorsed by the Club for Growth, a promenant conservative organization that has been running ads against the two-term Democrat for months.
In their latest ad, the Club for Growth points to Pryor’s support of ObamaCare and wasteful spending as well as the fact that he votes with the position of President Obama 95% of the time:
It’s going to be an uphill battle for Pryor, much like it was for his former colleague, Blanche Lincoln, who was crushed in her re-election bid in 2010. Lincoln’s support for ObamaCare was a major factor in her loss.