Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton raised $1.24 million in the fourth quarter, outdoing incumbent Senator Mark Pryor, who raised $1.1 million, according to Politico. Pryor, a Democrat who’s considered one of the weakest Senate incumbents in this fall’s midterms still has much a much bigger war chest, totaling $4.2 million. Cotton, a freshman congressman, currently has $2.2 million on hand. Politico’s Emily Schultheis writes, ”It’s a good sign for a challenger to be outraising his incumbent opponent, so Cotton could make up the gap this year if he keeps raising money at the rate he’s going now” (which I guess assumes some kind of geometric rate of increase for Cotton’s fundraising).
The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato has moved the Cotton–Pryor race to “Lean R,” from “Toss Up.” Two other pick-up opportunities for Republicans this fall, the North Carolina Senate race where Democrat Kay Hagan is defending her seat, and Louisiana, where Mary Landrieu is running for reelection, have been moved to “Toss Up.”
The most recent polling in the Arkansas race suggests Cotton has a small lead: He was tied. 44–44, in a mid-December survey by liberal firm Public Policy Polling, but led Pryor by seven points, 48–41, in a survey a week earlier by Kellyanne Conway’s Republican polling firm.