A new poll from PPP found Arkansas senator Mark Pryor, a Democrat, effectively tied with his Republican challenger Tom Cotton. Forty-three percent say they support Pryor, while 42 percent say they support Cotton.
The Democratic firm's poll confirms what most other recent surveys of the race have found: the contest between Pryor and Cotton remains close. One recent outlier was a New York Times poll released last week that showed Pryor with an impressive 10-point advantage. But the Times poll had a curious sample: 27 percent said they had voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and 26 percent said they had voted for Barack Obama. But Romney won Arkansas in 2012 by 24 points, which suggests the sample may not accurately reflect the 2014 electorate in Arkansas and instead underestimates Cotton support.
But Wednesday's PPP poll looks to have a more believable sample. Fifty percent of those polled said they voted for Romney in 2012, with 38 percent saying they voted for Obama and 12 percent saying they don't remember or voted for someone else. Furthermore, the partisan breakdown is 41 percent Democratic, 27 percent Republican, and 32 percent independent--not unreasonable given the state's historic affinity for Democrats and despite its more recent turn toward the GOP.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls gives Pryor a less-than-three-point advantage over Cotton.