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Rothenberg Downgrades Sen. Mark Pryor’s Reelection Chances

- December 19, 2013

Today, Political Handicapper Stuart Rothenberg Announced That He Has Moved The 2014 Arkansas Senate Race From "Tossup" To "Tossup/Tilt Republican." "Move from Tossup to Tossup/Tilt Republican in Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings." (Stuart Rothenberg, "Race Ratings Change: Arkansas Senate," Roll Call, 12/19/13)

  • "While We Continue To Regard The Arkansas Senate Race Broadly As A Tossup And Think That Pryor Is Doing All Of The Right Things, We Are Increasingly Skeptical That He Can Localize The Senate Contest As Much As He Needs To In A State Where Obama Is So Unpopular." (Stuart Rothenberg, "Race Ratings Change: Arkansas Senate," Roll Call, 12/19/13)

Dissatisfaction With Obama May Doom Pryor

If Arkansas Voters See Their Vote For Senate As A Vote Against Obama "Pryor May Not Be Able To Swim Against A Strong Republican Current." "Currently, we seem to be headed toward a typical midterm election, with unhappy voters regarding Election Day as an opportunity to make a statement about the president. With Obama's job rating in the upper 30s and low 40s in national polls - and lower in Arkansas - Pryor may not be able to swim against a strong Republican current." (Stuart Rothenberg, "Race Ratings Change: Arkansas Senate," Roll Call, 12/19/13)

Working Against Pryor Is The Fact That Presidential Approval Ratings Have A Greater Impact On House And Senate Voting Decisions In Midterms Than They Do Presidential Elections. "Voters can and do make distinctions, and that is why Pryor has any chance of winning re-election next year. But the difference between 2012 and 2014 (and 2010) is that voters in 2012 had separate votes to cast for president and the Senate in North Dakota and Montana, but next year they will have only one. Given that, the president's performance can have more of an impact on House and Senate voting decisions in a midterm than in a presidential year." (Stuart Rothenberg, "Race Ratings Change: Arkansas Senate," Roll Call, 12/19/13)

  • "Unless Pryor Can Drive Cotton's Negatives Through The Roof, And Prevent His Own From Going There As Well, It Will Be Difficult For The Senator To Survive, No Matter How Good A Race He Runs." (Stuart Rothenberg, "Race Ratings Change: Arkansas Senate," Roll Call, 12/19/13)

PRYOR WILL BE UNABLE TO ESCAPE HIS CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH OBAMA

According To The Non-Partisan Congressional Quarterly, Pryor Voted With Obama 95 Percent Of The Time In 2011 And 91 Percent Of The Time In 2012. "According to CQ Roll Call Vote Studies, in 2011, Pryor voted 95 percent of the time with the president in votes where Obama clearly indicated his preference. In 2012, that number fell to 91 percent." (Joshua Miller, "Senate Conservatives Action Launches Radio Ad Linking Pryor to Obama," Roll Call, 3/14/13)

Pryor Campaigned For Obama In 2008, Saying: "Barack Obama Has The Leadership, He Has The Vision, He Has The Hope That This Country Needs Right Now." (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At Little Rock, AR Obama Rally, 10/24/08)

At The 2008 DNC Convention, Pryor Told The Arkansas Delegation That Obama "Is Exactly The Right Guy For This Moment In History." "Pryor: You know, he's the kind of guy that is exactly the right guy for this moment in history." (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At 2008 DNC Convention, 8/27/08)

  • Pryor: "My Sense Is There Is A Destiny About Barack Obama. I Think There Is A Destiny About Him." (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At 2008 DNC Convention, 8/27/08)

Pryor Praised Obama In 2009, Saying "He Is Exactly What We Need Right Now." "We have a historic moment going on in Washington right now because, we have a President; some fault him because they say he is idealistic. They fault him sometimes because he believes in our democracy, he believes in our people. He knows that we can tackle these problems and we can solve these problems. And I don't fault him for that. I think he's showing great leadership and let's give President Obama a hand. I think he's exactly what we need right now." (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At Democratic Party Of Arkansas Jefferson Jackson Dinner , 7/24/09)

Pryor Said In 2011 That He Thought Obama Deserved Another Four Years In Office. "Pryor said he thought Obama deserved another four years. 'I think that President Obama came in [during] an incredibly difficult time, a whole set of circumstances that made his presidency one of the most difficult in American history,' Pryor said." (Charlie Frago, "Partisan 'Games' Miring Debt-Cap Deal, Pryor Says," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/3/11)

Pryor Even Asked Obama To Campaign In Arkansas In 2008

Pryor: "I Look Forward To [Obama] Getting Out, All Over The Country. And I Talked To His People Last Night About Trying To Come To Arkansas And Trying To Win There. And I Do Think They Want To Do That. (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At 2008 DNC Convention, 8/27/08)


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