Sen. Mark Pryor has come out against authorizing President Obama to take military action in Syria. Rep. Tom Cotton, who seeks Pryor’s Senate seat, is already on the record in strong support of U.S. intervention.
Pryor probably regards this issue as a godsend. Public opinion opposes attacking the Assad regime, and I assume that this is the case even in Arkansas. So right now, Pryor benefits from voting “no.”
How much will he benefit in the end? Probably not enough to alter the outcome of anything other than the closest of elections, unless Obama goes ahead with an attack and that attack produces obviously adverse consequences for the U.S.
Moreover, if Obama attacks, Syria ceases using chemical weapons, and there are no adverse consequences, Tom might well end up benefitting at the margin. I believe that most Americans, and certainly most Arkansans, still like it when the U.S. military is able to do good in the world at little cost.
In any event, Tom is voting his conscience. As for Pryor, who knows?