NYT’s Jonathan Martin: Concerns Abound In Pryor-Cotton Senate Race

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 138 views 

New York Times national political correspondent Jonathan Martin says the competitive U.S. Senate race in Arkansas has leaders in both political parties on edge.

“I think the fact that it’s still competitive in June — unlike, for example, the race four years ago between Blanche Lincoln and John Boozman — at least in the short term is good news for Democrats,” said Martin, who outlined private party leader concerns in the high-profile Arkansas race.

Martin appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9 a.m. on KATV Ch. 7.

Polls over the last several months have shown lead changes between incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican challenger Cong. Tom Cotton.

In an April Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll, Pryor was slightly ahead of Cotton 45.5% to 42.5%.

An average of all polls in the race as tracked by Pollster.com shows the race 48% to 46% in Cotton’s favor. RealClearPolitics.com shows the race tilting with a one percentage point lead for Pryor 45.5% to 44.5%.

“Among Republicans privately, there is concern about Cotton’s campaign and Cotton as a candidate,” Martin said. “If you look at his ads — and he’s tried a few different times now to personalize himself, to humanize himself with various family members — I think it sort of speaks to the challenge he has in trying to relate to Arkansans. So you do hear Republicans talk privately about that.”

“Democrats are feeling good as of right now that Pryor is still very much in this thing,” Martin added. “But Democrats, privately, concede that it’s going to be awfully tough for Pryor to get the number of Romney voters that he needs in 2014. It’s tough for a Democrat to win statewide in a federal race in Arkansas because you have to get so many folks that vote nationally for Republicans for the White House. So I think Democrats are aware of that challenge.”

Martin also discussed the uproar over the upset defeat of House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.). And, he commented on the media focus on presumed Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who released a new memoir this week, and when her timing to officially step in the White House race may occur.

Watch Martin’s full interview below.