Monday, April 14, 2014

Is Mark Pryor winning in the campaign for Senate against Tom Cotton?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge COTTON: Democrats call his debate proposal the gimmick of a losing campaign.
  • COTTON: Democrats call his debate proposal the gimmick of a losing campaign.
I mentioned yesterday that challenging the incumbent to a bunch of debates in the "Lincoln-Douglas" style, as Rep. Tom Cotton did yesterday, is often thought to be the gambit of an underdog worried that they're behind in the race. 

Democratic strategist and Talk Business blogger Michael Cook, as well as D-G columnist John Brummett, made similar points yesterday on Twitter. "If you weren't convinced cotton was behind, his calling for numerous free-wheeling debates should prove it to you," wrote Brummett. Cook wrote, "Cue Cotton campaign: When a campaign is losing traction & behind in the polls they ALWAYS propose 'Lincoln-Douglas' debates."

Just now, the Democratic Part of Arkansas issued a press release playing up this same theme: "After four consecutive polls showing Mark Pryor ahead of Congressman Cotton, the Cotton campaign is desperate to change the subject." DPA Chair Vincent Insalaco said in the statement, “It’s no wonder then that Congressman Cotton would prefer to debate with ‘no moderators, no reporters, no panel of questioners.’ Congressman Cotton doesn’t want to answer for his record.”

Cotton said his debate proposal was "not a stunt or a ploy" but the timing of the debate proposal is a little awkward for the Cotton campaign, given the recent polling showing Pryor ahead, or at least a much closer race than many in the Cotton camp were likely expecting. Another poll out today from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee surveyed 600 likely voters and found Pryor up 48-45 (obviously take it with a grain of salt given the source).

I will leave to readers to divine whether the debate proposal means “Congressman Cotton’s desperation is showing” (it seems to me that both campaigns are desperate to win and will employ normal campaign tactics to do so, including tediously describing the other campaign as desperate). My own take is that I will need to see more polling before I'm ready to anoint Pryor the favorite given the trends in Arkansas and the likely makeup of the electorate in a non-presidential year. But it's looking more and more like this will not be the Blanche Lincoln rout that the Cotton camp once hoped for. Perception matters — the reason that the campaigns spend so much time bickering over who's "winning" seven months before the election is because that's something donors care a lot about. Follow the money

As for the slightly cheesy "Lincoln-Douglas" talk, there is very little chance of that happening, which the Cotton campaign knows. Frankly, this is the sort of strategic minutia that gets politicos following the play-by-play hyped up, but will likely have no impact on the final election result. 



Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • The LR School takeover: Inconvenient facts and a message for the 'plutocrats'

    As the state moves to take over the Little Rock School District, I have some thoughts on the uncomfortable facts being overlooked in the decision and a cry of outrage from a school parent at the "plutocrats" intent on wresting control from the School Board.
    • Jan 8, 2015
  • Who said the Civil War is over? See Arkansas legislature

    The Civil War isn't over. See the Arkansas legislature where defenders of Robert E. Lee and supporters of legislation damaging to black people are prominent on the agenda today.
    • Feb 11, 2015
  • Mike Maggio pleads guilty to federal bribery charge

    Former Circuit Judge Mike Maggio of Conway pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges on Friday in U.S. District Court. The offense carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
    • Jan 9, 2015

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • Legislature subpoenas judge to testify about child custody decisions.

    The Legislative Joint Performance Review Committee has subpoenaed Circuit Judge Patricia James, who handles juvenile cases in Pulaski and Perry County, to testify to explain her child custody decisions. It's another example of a power-made, out-of-control legislature.
  • Arkansas legislator tied to fatal bus crash in Louisiana

    Republican state Rep. David Wallace of Leachville, a current candidate for state Senate, has been identified as the owner of a company that rounded up a group of workers, apparently undocumented aliens, for flood relief work in Louisiana, including one with a poor driving record who was at the wheel in a fatal bus crash on Interstate 10.
  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
  • Campus 'shame' list includes two Arkansas colleges

    Two Arkansas campuses have made an LGBT group's Shame List for seeking a waiver from compliance with the TItle IX civil rights law.
  • The Conway police report on Gilbert Baker's DWI arrest

    Gilbert Baker, the former state senator and state Republican Party chair, was "belligerent and emotional" after Conway police arrested him Friday night for DWI, refusing a breath alcohol test and erratic driving.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation