Just 34 percent of Arkansas voters approve of President Obama — and the same share approves of the job Mark Pryor is doing, according to a new poll. The survey, by Talk Business and Hendrix College, finds one especially interesting result: In Arkansas, Democrats are getting the blame for the government shutdown and the current budget crisis, the reverse of what’s been found in the rest of the country. Forty percent of respondents said they fault President Obama and Democrats, while 35 percent blame congressional Republicans and 24 percent say they’re equally guilty. (Nationally, Republicans are getting more blame than Democrats for the shutdown, but only marginally.)
And Tom Cotton, the Arkansas congressman who’s challenging Democratic senator Mark Pryor next year, already has a tight race: 42 percent of voters said they support Pryor, while 41 percent favor Cotton. Forty-two percent of the vote is, needless to say, not a good place for an incumbent. Pryor’s campaign has tried to tie Cotton to Republican stubbornness and the current government shutdown; the congressman’s been cagey on whether he supports the effort. Sixty-two percent of Arkansas voters disapprove of the job President Obama’s doing and just 34 percent approve; 34 percent approve of Pryor and 48 percent disapprove.