The Club for Growth ("Club for Greed," Mike Huckabee calls the outfit heavily funded by Little Rock silver spooner Jackson T. Stephens Jr.) is out with some selective results from a Republican polling firm's soundings of Arkansas voters on the 2014 U.S. Senate race. The news release doesn't include all the questions or demographics on the polling sample, but the bottom line is about what you'd expect given the source — Sen. Mark Pryor is a liberal who follows the Obama line. Plus, Club for Growth candidate designee Tom Cotton leads Pryor 43-35 with 22 percent undecided. The Club for Growth is trying to help Pryor's numbers with TV ads targeting the resolutely centrist politician. It also claims the Pryor-Cotton number preceded any loaded questions about the candidates, but won't release full details on the polling.
Mark Pryor's no liberal, of course. Unfortunately. Tom Cotton? Wait until some TV ads start running about his votes to deny disaster aid to storm victims.
The Club's news release:
Washington, DC — Club for Growth Action and the Senate Conservatives Fund today released the results of a series of polls conducted among likely voters in Arkansas’s 2014 U.S. Senate race. The results show that since Club for Growth Action began running a six-figure TV ad buy in Arkansas, support among Arkansans for Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) has plummeted.
The TV ad, which pointed out that Senator Pryor stood with President Obama on ObamaCare, the failed Obama “stimulus,” and on bailing out the Wall Street banks, has had a devastating effect on Mark Pryor’s favorability ratings. In two months, Senator Pryor has gone from a +28 Favorable/Unfavorable spread among poll respondents (53/25) to even (36/36), a precipitous 28 point drop. In addition, the number of Arkansans who now view Mark Pryor as a “liberal” has nearly doubled, going from 26% in a January survey to 47% now, a strong plurality of respondents.
President Obama remains deeply unpopular in Arkansas, with only 38% of respondents having a favorable impression, compared to 58% who said unfavorable, a -20 point spread. Arkansans clearly recoil from the message in Club for Growth Action’s TV ad that “when you vote for Pryor, you vote for Obama.”
“The more Arkansans hear about Mark Pryor’s support for the Obama agenda, the less they like Mark Pryor,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “President Obama’s economic policies are simply unpopular in Arkansas, and Mark Pryor’s support for ObamaCare, the Obama stimulus, and the Wall Street bailout have cost him support back home. Obama ally Mark Pryor is in deep trouble with Arkansans because of his strong support for big-government programs like ObamaCare and the Obama ‘stimulus’ that are bankrupting America.”
"These numbers are not surprising. Our members who live in Arkansas continue to tell us that Mark Pryor has abandoned them and their values," said Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins. "They know he pretends to be a centrist when he's in Arkansas, but votes with President Obama when he's in Washington."
Both polls were conducted by the Republican polling firm Basswood Research. The polls took place January 27th-28th and March 16th-17th. Each sample contained 600 likely general election voters, with a margin of error of 4%. The second poll was paid for by both the Club for Growth Action and the Senate Conservatives Fund.
Selected results from the Club for Growth Action/Senate Conservatives Fund poll in Arkansas:
Favorable/Unfavorable: Senator Mark Pryor
January: 53% Favorable, 25% Unfavorable
March: 36% Favorable, 36% Unfavorable
Change: 28 points less favorable
Which of the following comes closest to your opinion? Mark Pryor is an independent Senator who fights for the best interests of Arkansas residents; or, Mark Pryor sides too much with President Obama and the liberals in Congress.
January: 46% Independent Senator, 31% Sides Too Much With Obama
March: 38% Independent Senator, 43% Sides Too Much With Obama
Change: 20 point swing towards “Sides too much with Obama”
Do you think Mark Pryor is a liberal, moderate or conservative in his political beliefs?
January: 26% Liberal, 32% Moderate, 12% Conservative
March: 47% Liberal, 25% Moderate, 6% Conservative
Change: 21 point increase among those who believe Pryor is a liberal
Ballot test for U.S. Senate in 2014 (March Only)
Senator Mark Pryor (D): 35%
Congressman Tom Cotton (R): 43%
Result: Pryor -8. Pryor is far under 50% and trails Congressman Tom Cotton in the straight ballot test by eight points.