Vulnerable Senate Democrats have been working overtime to distance themselves from President Barack Obama by highlighting differences they have with the White House on various issues, even avoiding appearances with him in visits to their home states.
But are these Democrats as independent as they would have voters at home believe? Not really, according to a 2013 vote analysis by Roll Call:
As Sen. Mark Pryor runs for a third term in Arkansas — he’s the only incumbent now rated an underdog by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call — he will surely delight in announcing he voted more often against Obama than any other Senate Democrat last year. That will sound much more like a boast than a confession in a place where the president’s approval last year was 35 percent, according to state-by-state approval numbers released last week by Gallup.
But Republican Rep. Tom Cotton will just as undoubtedly promote his challenge by describing Pryor’s presidential support score in a way that sounds exactly the opposite, but is just as precise: The sitting senator sided with Obama 90 percent of the time.