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April 25, 2014

Posts in "Ark. Senate"

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.”

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Vote Provides Wedge Issue for Pryor

Farm Bill Vote Provides Wedge Issue for Pryor

Pryor is a top target of the GOP in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., intends to make the farm bill a driving issue in his competitive re-election race against Republican Rep. Tom Cotton.

Minutes after the conference report passed the House 251-166 on Wednesday morning, Pryor called Cotton’s vote against the five-year reauthorization of the nation’s agriculture and nutrition programs “reckless and irresponsible.” Pryor noted that Cotton was the only member of the state’s all-Republican House delegation to oppose the legislation.

Pryor is a top target of national Republicans in 2014 and battling his own ties to an unpopular president. But his campaign is highlighting this vote as evidence that Cotton would be an unpalatable alternative. In a statement, Pryor said his rival is siding “with his special interest allies, the same Washington groups spending millions on his campaign that urged him to oppose the farm bill.” He accused Cotton of putting “his own ambitions ahead of what’s best for Arkansans.”

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December 30, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arkansas Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arkansas Senate

Pryor is a top Senate GOP target in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a year with a few contenders, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor is widely considered the most vulnerable Democrat up for re-election. For Republicans, his seat is a must-win for the party to recapture the Senate majority.

With the president’s job approval rating dropping and southern Democrats disappearing from the congressional ranks, Pryor’s successful bid for a third term would be the ultimate proof that Senate elections are truly a choice between the two candidates on the ballot and the quality of the campaigns.

First elected in 2002, Pryor remains as the last Democrat from a congressional delegation filled with them just a few years ago. With the unpopularity of the president in Arkansas and Pryor’s vote in favor of the president’s health care overhaul law, Republicans believe they have a good shot at a clean sweep in the state’s federal races next November thanks to freshman Rep. Tom Cotton’s candidacy. Full story

December 27, 2013

The Best Congressional Campaign Ads of 2013 (Video)

Political ad makers were a busy bunch in 2013 — and the election year had not even started yet. Several competitive Senate races and special elections in the House meant the airwaves were already crowded.

Here’s Roll Call list of the top five most memorable congressional campaign advertisements of 2013:

5. “A Walk”

The Race: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sponsored this spot in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st District. Now-Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., waged a comeback bid to succeed now-Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., in this GOP-friendly district. Sanford’s well-documented personal foibles appeared to make this race against the Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, somewhat competitive. This DCCC spot cleverly references — but never specifically mentions  — Sanford’s extramarital affair in 2009. Instead, the ad plays on the infamous hike on the Appalachian Trail that the former governor never took. Full story

December 15, 2013

The Most Expensive Senate Race of the Cycle — So Far

The Most Expensive Senate Race of the Cycle — So Far

Hagan's race has already witnessed a barrage of advertising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About halfway through the midterm election cycle, North Carolina is on pace to host the most expensive Senate race of 2014.

But the Tar Heel State shouldn’t necessarily get too comfortable in the top spot.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election battle is one of at least four Senate contests where outside spending has already eclipsed the $2 million mark. The others include the re-election races of Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The potential for Republicans to win back the Senate majority, combined with the media-market makeup of the competitive landscape, has invited a superfluity of early spending. Republicans need a net gain of six seats next year, and most of the competitive races are for Democrat-held seats in less populous states.

“Given the president’s plummeting job approval ratings, there is growing optimism that Republicans can win back the Senate, and that’s why you’re seeing some very early spending in key U.S. Senate races,” GOP media consultant Erik Potholm said. “And Democrats, especially their vulnerable incumbents, are feeling that same pressure — that’s why Sens. Landrieu and Pryor are on the air.” Full story

October 23, 2013

GOP Poll: Cotton Holds Edge Over Pryor in Arkansas

GOP Poll: Cotton Holds Edge Over Pryor in Arkansas

Pryor faces a tough re-election race in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll conducted on behalf of Rep. Tom Cotton’s campaign found the Arkansas Republican with a 4-point lead over Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor — within the margin of error for the survey.

In one of the GOP’s top pickup opportunities in 2014, Cotton led 45 percent to 41 percent, with 15 percent of those surveyed undecided.

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted by GOP firm OnMessage Inc. on Oct. 15-17. The margin of error was 4 points. Full story

September 11, 2013

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

Getting an ad on the air in a competitive Senate race next year may not break the bank, but that won’t change the unruly amount of money that will be spent.

A Senate playing field (view ratings map) constructed almost entirely of small media markets has several implications for the candidates, campaign committees and outside groups in the most targeted states next year. Above all, it likely guarantees an extended campaign season.

“It means the poor, unfortunate people who live in those states will be subjected to much more ugliness,” as Curt Anderson, a Republican media consultant, put it. Full story

August 7, 2013

Club for Growth Backs Mark Pryor Challenger #ARSEN

Updated 11:55 a.m. |The Club for Growth’s political action committee formally endorsed Republican Rep. Tom Cotton on Wednesday, a day after the freshman announced a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.

The group is set to launch a six-figure TV ad buy against Pryor on Thursday, tying the incumbent to President Barack Obama. The ads will run on broadcast and cable stations, and it’s just the latest media campaign targeting one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle.

“Tom Cotton is a taxpayer hero and a fighter against the Obama agenda,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.

Full story

July 31, 2013

Tom Cotton to Challenge Mark Pryor #ARSEN

Tom Cotton to Challenge Mark Pryor #ARSEN

Pryor is already running advertisements for his re-election. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., will announce his candidacy next week to challenge Sen. Mark Pryor, arguably Democrats’ most vulnerable senator of the cycle.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Cotton would make his campaign announcement Aug. 6 at an event in his hometown of Dardanelle.

(See also in Roll Call: Pryor Can’t Escape 2010 Comparison)

Full story

July 15, 2013

Monday Fundraising Roundup: Deadline Day

The second-quarter reporting due date arrived Monday, spurring a flurry of fundraising announcements ahead of the midnight deadline.

Look for CQ Roll Call’s fundraising charts to detail counts from every 2014 Senate race, as well as dozens of top House races, in the coming days.

In the meantime, here’s a round up of Monday’s second-quarter fundraising announcements.

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The Senate Majority Fight in Post-Schweitzer World

Senate Democrats’ inability so far to lure top-tier talent to run for their three most vulnerable open seats shifts the spotlight to recruits in its two most promising pickup opportunities — a relative term in this lopsided landscape.

Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s decision this weekend to eschew a Senate race came as an unexpected boon for the GOP’s hopes of netting the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority next year. Pulling off that feat would be an accomplishment for Republicans, even if they are waging war in friendly GOP territory.

But there is a realistic scenario that could force Democrats to rely on two first-time federal candidates in states where the party has enjoyed little success in recent years. If Montana moves off the competitive playing field and Republicans are also favored to pick up the open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP would need to pick up just three more seats from their most promising targets in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina.
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