Speed Reads

campaign 2014

Mark Pryor facing tough race from Republican newcomer in Arkansas

It's looking like Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) won't have a repeat of the comfortable second-term victory he scored six years ago. Fox News reports Pryor "is in the fight of his political life against a budding Republican superstar, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark)."

Cotton, a decorated Army veteran and Harvard graduate, won his very first election less than two years ago. Now, a PPP poll has Cotton 5 points ahead of Pryor, while a new USA Today poll puts Pryor up by 2.

Pryor's campaign is attacking Cotton for being "against seniors, students, and women" and for voting against the farm bill.

Cotton, meanwhile, said the main reason he voted against the farm bill was because the Senate refused to make a vote on food stamps separate (Cotton's platform focuses heavily on cutting spending), as the House did. He said his decision was also due to the fact that many of the farmers he spoke to were against the legislation.

Cotton is counting on President Obama's low approval ratings to boost his campaign, which uses the slogan, "A vote for Mark Pryor is a vote for Barack Obama." Pryor has voted with the president 93 percent of the time.

Pryor, for his part, has accused Cotton of acting as a pawn for the agendas of the Koch Brothers and Club for Growth, who heavily support him.