Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor has a 10-point lead in his race to retain his Senate seat, according to a new poll from the New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation. A two-term senator, Pryor has 46 percent support, while his challenger, Republican congressman Tom Cotton, has 36 percent support. Pryor also has 47 percent approval rating as senator, the poll found.
The Times poll is the largest lead for Pryor yet in a race that has been seen as one of the tightest of the 2014 cycle. There may be a reason for the outlying numbers: In the poll, 27 percent said they voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, 26 percent said they voted for Barack Obama, and 32 percent said they didn't vote at all in 2012. Does that reflect the electorate that will come out in the 2014 midterm elections in Arkansas? After all, Romney won Arkansas by 24 points, with more than 60 percent of the vote.
The survey also asked voters in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky about competitive Senate races in those states.
In Louisiana, incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu has a 24-point lead over her leading Republican challenger, House member Bill Cassidy, at 42 percent to Cassidy's 18 percent. But Louisiana's jungle primary system means Landrieu is still 8 points away from the 50 percent cutoff she would need to avoid a runoff after the November primary.
Kay Hagan of North Carolina looks to be in a close race with her leading Republican opponent, state house speaker Thom Tillis. The Times poll found she has a slight lead, 42 percent to 40 percent, over him. The GOP primary, in which Tillis leads a crowded field, will be May 6.
All three Democratic senators--Pryor, Landrieu, and Hagan--voted to pass Obamacare in 2010.
Meanwhile, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky appears to have a strong challenger in Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. The secretary of state for Kentucky, Grimes is just a point behind the five-term senator. McConnell faces a primary challenge on May 20 in businessman Matt Bevin, though polls show McConnell will win the nomination.
Read the full results of the Times poll here.