by Max Brantley
The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has released a poll of 1,600 Arkansans that it says shows U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is in trouble in his re-election bid.
I'd be the last to suggest he doesn't face a tough battle.
But .... The poll says 47 percent will vote Republican in the Senate election regardless of candidate and, surprise, 47 percent also don't think Mark Pryor should be re-elected.
Elections are about choices, however.
A significant element omitted from this poll is a matchup of Mark Pryor against a Republican candidate.
I've mentioned previously that a labor-friendly group has a poll that shows Pryor leading Tom Cotton 43 to 35.
The polls aren't as dissimilar as either side might lead you to believe. Pryor doesn't have majority support. Neither does an unnamed (and thus baggage-free) Republican. The fight is for the sliver undecided. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
SPEAKING OF TOM COTTON: More today from writers mining the opinion columns Cotton wrote as a Harvard undergraduate. He didn't like campus radicals much, a good thing, according to a conservative admirer. He seemed to fault Harvard for failing to "tame the barbarians."
Here's Tom Cotton, too, on Bill Clinton's "degeneracy." In commenting on the Lewinsky affair:
The truth will emerge, and the truth is that Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, which of course means that Clinton lied to the American people last Monday when he looked into the camera, stuck out his chin, shook his finger and denied the allegations. When faced with that undeniable reality, Americans must respond in one of two ways.
Clinton may lose his support, which means trouble for him. Or Clinton may retain his support, which means trouble for us. If we continue to ignore Clinton's degeneracy, the real story then becomes our degeneracy. A self-governing people that cannot make the most obvious and rudimentary moral judgments about such matters and its rulers may not be self-governing much longer.
We do know what choice voters made. And it wasn't on the side of those who'd take food from the mouths of poor children.
The friendly piece on Cotton's time at Harvard was prompted by another critical piece in the Daily Caller.
Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, who announced this week that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, attacked alcohol vendors, called for mandatory financial disclosures of campaign donations, favored banning cigarettes, and attacked libertarianism while he was a Harvard student.
In a twice-weekly column for the Harvard Crimson, Cotton — who has been called a “Republican’s dream” by National Review and an “extraordinary figure” by the Weekly Standard — criticized politicians for not doing enough to oppose tobacco and wrote a laudatory 1996 piece praising Bill and Hillary Clinton.