Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 21, 2014

Posts in "Ark. Senate"

August 5, 2014

Senate Democrats Launch First IE Ad of 2014 (Video)

Senate Democrats Launch First IE Ad of 2014 (Video)

Senate 2014: Cotton is the target of the DSCC's first IE ad of the cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched its first independent expenditure ad of the cycle Tuesday, the premiere installment in a $3.6 million buy in Arkansas on behalf of Sen. Mark Pryor.

The ad pushes a theme Democrats have worked for months to sew into the race — that Republican Rep. Tom Cotton can’t be trusted. Full story

August 4, 2014

Top 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Top 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

In 2014 Senate races, Pryor is one of the most vulnerable Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three months before Election Day, it’s clear some senators may not return to Congress after the midterms — and that’s mostly good news for Republicans.

The GOP’s path to the Senate majority includes a mix of open seats and targeted Democratic incumbents. The two most vulnerable seats are in South Dakota and West Virginia, where Democratic senators are retiring. Republicans also have opportunities in open seats in Iowa and, to a lesser degree, Michigan.

But even if they are victorious in those states, the GOP must defeat at least two incumbents to reach the net six seats needed for control.

Luckily for Republicans, Democrats make up the vast majority of endangered senators seeking re-election. The GOP has a lengthy catalog of states where it has an opportunity to win, though there is a wide gap betweenthe  No. 1 and No. 10 most vulnerable senators — who are ordered by most likely to lose.

Roll Call’s “10 Most Vulnerable Senators” list will be updated monthly ahead of the Nov. 4 elections. For now, here is where the incumbents stand: Full story

July 30, 2014

Mark Pryor Up 2 Points in Democratic Poll

Mark Pryor Up 2 Points in Democratic Poll

Pryor is in a dead-heat re-election race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor led his Republican challenger by 2 points in a recent Democratic poll, which is the third survey on the race released in the last two days.

The polling memo, obtained by CQ Roll Call, stated Pryor led by a 48-46 percent margin, with 6 percent undecided — a lead within the 4-point margin of error. The survey included a sample of 600 likely voters and was conducted July 20-24 by Democratic firm Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, which counts as a client the Arkansas gubernatorial campaign of former Rep. Mike Ross.

The memo comes one day after the Pryor campaign released an internal poll (taken July 7-10) showing him ahead 45-39 percent and an independent poll from Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College (taken July 22-25) found Cotton up 44-42 percent. Full story

July 11, 2014

Pryor Starts Reserving Fall Airtime in Pivotal Senate Race

Pryor Starts Reserving Fall Airtime in Pivotal Senate Race

Pryor is ramping up his air war. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor has been buying up fall airtime for a race critical to nearly every hypothetical Republican path to the Senate majority.

The two-term Democrat, who faces the fight of his political life against GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, has so far reserved several hundred thousand dollars worth of TV time for the closing six weeks of the race, according to a media-buying source. The Pryor campaign would not comment on its media strategy, but that’s just an opening salvo in a state already seeing a plethora of spending from outside groups and both campaigns.

Amid a vigorous on-air back-and-forth over tornado disaster relief and religion in the past week, the contours of Pryor’s path to re-election remain unchanged. The Arkansas Democrat is banking that voters’ familiarity with him — and their disbelief that Cotton is on their side — will outweigh the antipathy toward Washington and President Barack Obama.

“Mark’s been around a really long time and his family has been around a long time,” said Sheila Bronfman, a Democratic consultant in Arkansas and longtime ally of the Clintons. “People like him and they trust him. They trust where he comes from and how he was raised, and I just think that’s making a big difference here.”

Full story

July 8, 2014

New Ads Invade Arkansas Airwaves

New Ads Invade Arkansas Airwaves

Pryor faces Cotton in Arkansas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three new campaign ads hit the Arkansas airwaves Tuesday, with less than four months to go in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.

Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican Rep. Tom Cotton are fighting for a seat crucial to the GOP’s hopes of winning the Senate majority. They took aim at each other in their respective ads, while GOP-aligned Crossroads GPS tied Pryor to the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama and Washington.

Arkansas ranks fourth in independent-expenditure spending, behind Kentucky and North Carolina — which feature competitive general-election races — and Mississippi, which just concluded an extended GOP primary. Full story

June 25, 2014

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

The Club for Growth worked against Sen. Thad Cochran, who won Tuesday's runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Club for Growth, a perpetual thorn in the side of many Republican operatives, took a hit Tuesday in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge despite a significant investment from the anti-tax group.

The Club for Growth’s super PAC arm spent $2.4 million against Cochran, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a significant chunk of the $3.8 million it’s expended so far this cycle against Republicans.

What’s more, the defeat of state Sen. Chris McDaniel means the club has now failed to topple arguably its top two GOP incumbent targets of the midterm cycle — Cochran and Rep. Mike Simpson. The club spent nearly $500,000 for Bryan Smith, who lost his May 20 challenge to the Idaho Republican.

Full story

June 23, 2014

Pick Your Clinton: Democrats Want Duo on Trail

Pick Your Clinton: Democrats Want Duo on Trail

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton are exciting Democrats who hope for their help in the midterm elections. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Democrats are gearing up to unleash the Clinton Dynasty.

They hope deploying the popular former White House occupants could help drum up money and hype in what could be a tough election year for the party. Democrats see the power couple as an asset, especially because Republicans have no singular unifying figure who can hit the trail.

But good thing there’s two of them.

Democratic operatives say each half of the Clinton duo appeals to different segments of the electorate — so assignments to races must be deliberate and strategic.

North of the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Mississippi River is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton territory — replete with voters who have already warmed to electing women to Congress. Former President Bill Clinton, party officials say, plays better in the South and Midwest, where he performed well with traditional Yellow Dog Democrats who relate to the party’s economic message but tend to be more conservative on social issues.

Together, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say there are few areas where the Clinton duo wouldn’t have a positive impact.

“Both Clintons can go into any competitive district in the country and be enormously helpful to Democratic candidates,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said. “The second Secretary Clinton is ready, we’d love to have her campaigning for House Democrats.”

Full story

June 9, 2014

FreedomWorks Might Help Candidates They Opposed in 2014 Primaries

FreedomWorks Might Help Candidates They Opposed in 2014 Primaries

Freedomworks did not endorse Tillis, left, in the primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

FreedomWorks, a tea party-affiliated group that backed primary challengers to two GOP incumbents this cycle, is weighing whether to spend money to help the nominees they previously opposed.

The group, known for targeting Republican incumbents and establishment favorites with ground-game assistance for conservative candidates, is more closely tied with the tea party than the Republican Party.

But as FreedomWorks looks to the general election fights ahead, and with Republicans needing a six-seat net gain to win the Senate majority, the group is open to aiding candidates like North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — both of whom it actively worked against earlier this year.

“We’ve decided that Harry Reid’s not our friend,” FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said in an interview Thursday. “Shockingly.” Full story

June 3, 2014

Crossroads Ad Spells Out Democrat’s Obama Ties in Arkansas

American Crossroads is going up with a new ad Wednesday tying Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., to President Barack Obama and his signature health care law — both unpopular topics in Arkansas, according to polls.

The ad, called ‘Spelling Bee,’ features a young girl on stage at a spelling bee, playing out a familiar scene to anyone who watched the Scripps Spelling Bee last week.

“Your next word is Pryor,” says a man on the judges panel.

“May I have the definition please?” the girl asks.

“Pryor: A Washington liberal, out of touch with Arkansas, voted for Obama 90 percent,” says a woman on the panel.

Full story

May 13, 2014

Cotton Internal Poll Finds Senate Race in Dead Heat

Cotton Internal Poll Finds Senate Race in Dead Heat

Cotton is challenging Mark Pryor in a top Senate race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton’s Senate campaign is pushing back on recent polls showing the Republican trailing Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

In an internal poll conducted for Cotton by OnMessage Inc., Cotton and Pryor are in a dead heat. It found the freshman lawmaker taking 42 percent of the vote to Pryor’s 40 percent, with 12 percent undecided. Full story

March 28, 2014

Democratic Super PAC Targets Michigan, Arkansas Senate Races

Senate Majority PAC, a outside group committed to electing Democrats to the Senate, released two new ads on Friday targeting races in Arkansas and Michigan. The spots are part of a multi-state campaign to counter massive advertisement spending from Americans for Prosperity, a group supported by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.

The spots argue that GOP Senate candidates, Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, advance corporate interests over the economic well-being of two different demographic groups.

In Arkansas, the super PAC is targeting senior voters to boost vulnerable Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s chances of keeping his seat. The Senate Race in Arkansas is rated Tilts Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

“Corporate special interests are spending millions to smear Mark Pryor and elect Tom Cotton,” the narrator said. The ad goes on to accuse Cotton of wanting to give “billions in profits to insurance companies while costing seniors $6,000 more a year.”

Full story

February 22, 2014

Tom Cotton Takes On Obama in Weekly Address

Tom Cotton Takes On Obama in Weekly Address

Cotton, left, delivered the GOP's weekly address Saturday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans chose Rep. Tom Cotton, a Senate candidate in one of the hottest races this cycle, to deliver the party’s weekly address and go after President Barack Obama as “causing” the problems people face in Arkansas and across the country.

It’s the latest example of how leaders in both parties are showcasing Senate candidates to let their battles play out under the Dome as well as back home. Already Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor and Cotton have been on opposite sides of legislative battles, including the farm bill. And Democratic leaders gave Pryor a ready-made political wedge issue recently on a topic related to veterans benefits.

Full story

February 19, 2014

America Rising Names Top Opposition Research Targets for 2014

America Rising, a GOP group that procures and publishes research on Democratic candidates, announced Wednesday its first wave of top targets for the midterm elections.

The list of candidates, posted on America Rising’s newly launched website, includes information on almost all of the Democratic House and Senate candidates in the GOP’s top pickup opportunity races in 2014.

“We’ll roll out additional candidates as the map changes and expands, but that’s our initial list of candidates that we have research on,” said Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising.

America Rising also zeroed in on seven top targets:

Full story

February 10, 2014

Vote on Pryor Bill Just the Start of Senate’s 2014 Political Madness (Updated)

Vote on Pryor Bill Just the Start of Senates 2014 Political Madness (Updated)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update 6:28 p.m. | It’s officially open political vote season on the Senate floor, and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is the latest vulnerable 2014 incumbent to benefit from Majority Leader Harry Reid’s power of the calendar.

The Senate voted Monday evening on legislation championed by Pryor — and co-sponsored by five Democrats who also are in-cycle — to repeal $6 billion in cost-of-living adjustments to military pensions agreed to in the 2013 bipartisan budget agreement. The legislation, which is not offset by spending cuts elsewhere, is unlikely to garner any Republican support in its current form, even though GOP senators moved to open debate Monday. Republicans likely would object to spending increases and to date have not offered Democrats alternatives they would accept. But Reid circumvented a committee markup to bring the bill straight to the floor so Democrats could record an up-or-down vote. The result? Just one of many votes Democratic leaders hope to hold in the months to come to benefit their most embattled members.

Full story

February 5, 2014

Pryor Launches TV Ads Aimed at Cotton Record

Pryor Launches TV Ads Aimed at Cotton Record

Sen. Mark Pryor launched two TV ads Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign launched two TV ads Wednesday going directly after his Republican opponent’s legislative record on Medicare.

The Democrat’s ads, airing statewide behind a “substantial” six-figure buy, feature one woman in each looking at their computers and highlighting what they had read about Rep. Tom Cotton.

The ads fit into the theme Democrats have pushed from the outset of the campaign — that Cotton has been “reckless and irresponsible” during his first term in the House. That messaging continued last week when Cotton voted against the farm bill conference report. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...