Bad news for Blanche Lincoln; good news for Tom Cotton

A recent poll by the firm Public Policy Polling contains disheartening news for Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and encouraging news for our friend Tom Cotton.
According to the poll, whose margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent, Lincoln’s approval rate is down to 36 percent, with 44 percent disapproving. Earlier this year, more people approved of Lincoln (45 percent) than disapproved (40 percent).
Obviously, Lincoln has been hurt by the increasingly public unhappiness with her party and her president. However, Mark Pryor, the other Democratic Arkansas Senator and a much more impressive individual, still does pretty well in the polls. His approval rating is 47 percent, with only 32 percent disapprovng.
The survey also matched Lincoln up with three potential rivals — Gilbert Baker, Curtis Coleman, and (somewhat surprisingly) Tom Cotton. Their favorability ratings were 7 percent, 6 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. That’s because they are relative, or in Tom’s case total, unknowns.
Yet all three were quite competitive (and, indeed, within the margin of error) when matched up with the incumbent, two-term Senator. Baker led Lincoln by 42-40; Coleman led by 41-40; and Cotton trailed by only 40-39. [note: figures corrected from original post]
This is clearly good news for Tom, to the extent he may be interested in running against Lincoln. It’s hard not to believe that he would do well among the “undecided” 19 percent once they get to know him and his story, especially his service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s also encouraging that Cotton, a stranger to politics, is as well-positioned for a possible Senate run as Baker (a former state party chairman and long-time state Senator) and Coleman (who has been campaigning for about four months).

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