Monday, May 12, 2014

Arkansas Senate: Need for GOP to Build Bridges to Middle/Working Class

A new poll is out from NBC News/Marist that shows incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor with an 11-point lead over his Republican challenger, Congressman Tom Cotton, in the 2014 Arkansas Senate race.  Senator Pryor leads 51-40 among registered voters.

If this poll is to be believed (and it does have some methodological limits), it provides even more evidence for the importance of the GOP widening its appeal to members of the working and middle classes.  According to this poll, 76% of Arkansas registered voters live in households that make less than $75,000 a year, and Pryor dominates among this group.  He leads 57-36 among this group.  Cotton does well with voters coming  from households making over $75,000 a year; he leads among that group 54-39.  But his poor performance with the under-$75,000 voters hurts him.

Republicans can make a case for market-oriented, conservative policies that can help the working and middle classes.  But they will have to make that case.  Strengthening the Republican brand with working- and middle-class Americans could bring Tom Cotton closer to a Senate seat and the GOP closer to a governing majority.

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