Tolbert: New Poll Shows Trouble For Sen. Pryor

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 52 views 

A poll conducted by Magellan Strategies BR shows an uphill climb for re-election for Sen. Mark Pryor in 2016.

The poll was conducted by Magellan Strategies among 1,600 likely Arkansas voters between July 30 and 31 with a margin of error of 2.5%.  Although both the Republican Party of Arkansas and the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent the poll out to media sources, neither paid for the poll which Magellan says they conducted independently.

“The poll was conducted by MSBR for our own research purposes. We conduct in-house surveys fairly regularly to improve our methodology. The automated nature of the survey allows us to minimize costs and periodically we choose to release surveys publicly in a fashion similar to Rasmussen or Public Policy Polling (PPP),” said Fred Shumate with Magellan. “The survey is part of a bigger internal project looking into vulnerable Democrat U.S. Senators and primarily focused on Southern states. We released a Louisiana survey Wednesday and are working on a North Carolina survey to release sometime next week.”

The poll did not test any head-to-head match ups against Sen. Pryor – including the expected challenge from Congressman Tom Cotton – but it showed that voters prefer a generic Republican candidate over a Democrat by ten points.  It also showed that voters prefer someone new versus re-electing Sen. Pryor.  Here are the key findings:

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate was being held today, and all you knew about the two candidates was that one was a Democrat and the other was a Republican, for whom would you vote?

Total Republican 47.4% (32.0% definitely/15.4% probably)
Total Democratic 37.9% (31.2% definitely/6.8% probably)

Q: Do you believe that Mark Pryor has performed his job as U.S. Senator well enough to deserve to be re-elected or do you think it is time to give a new person a chance?

Total Re-elect 37.2% (27.7% definitely/9.5% probably)
Total New Person 37.9% (31.4% definitely/15.4% probably)

The poll also found that Pryor is heavily damaged by his support for Obamacare, support for the stimulus, support for immigration reform, and a voting record that heavily supports President Obama.  These findings are really nothing new and shows a race that presents an opportunity for the Republicans to win.  The next few months will be key for Congressman Tom Cotton as he begins to present himself largely for the first time statewide.