MEMORANDUM

To: Cotton Leadership
From: Wes Anderson
Re: Arkansas Statewide Survey

KEY FINDINGS

Our recent Arkansas statewide survey shows Tom Cotton with a lead over Senator Mark Pryor and a
political environment that continues to be disadvantageous for Democrats. Fielded May 6
th
through the
8
th
, this statewide survey consists of 600 likely voters and was stratified by county to reflect historic voter
trends. The partisan makeup of the survey is 36% Republican, 36% Democrat and 26% Independent and
has a margin of error of +/- 4.00%.

Ballot Test
The ballot test shows this race in statistical dead heat with Cotton receiving 42% of the vote compared to
Pryor’s 40%, with 12% remaining undecided (Mark Swaney and Nathan LaFrance remain virtually non-
existent with 2% and 3% respectively). The ballot is largely polarized with a slight intensity gap in our
favor as Cotton receives 83% of the Republican vote compared to Pryor’s 79% of Democrats.
Independents are largely split between the two candidates with 36% voting for Cotton compared to 33%
for Pryor.

Ballot Total Democrats Independents Republicans
Cotton 42% 10% 36% 83%
Pryor 40% 79% 33% 7%
Undecided 12% 9% 23% 6%

Perhaps the most encouraging news in this survey is the fact that Cotton maintains his lead while Pryor
remains mired in the low 40’s – all despite being subject to a massive onslaught of negative attack ads by
both Pryor himself and third-party groups supporting him.

Although this race remains tight, this survey shows that Mark Pryor is in a very precarious position.
Why? One, Pryor is an incumbent Senator who is receiving well below 50%. Two, Pryor is fighting to
gain support in an electorate that is in no mood to reward a Democrat incumbent. That said, these
findings strongly suggest Cotton would defeat Pryor if the election were held today. Beyond that,
Republicans hold an overwhelming advantage on the “Gas Pedal/Brake” question with a strong majority
(54%) saying that they would prefer a Republican who would be a check and balance to President
Obama’s agenda while only 30% said they would prefer a Democrat to help further the Obama agenda.
As you may have guessed, this opposition is largely driven by the voter’s rejection of the President’s
signature achievement—Obamacare. With a noteworthy 60% of voters opposed to Obamacare, including
a majority of voters (50%) who say they are “strongly” opposed (10% somewhat opposed, 50% strongly
opposed), the law remains toxic in Arkansas. Unfortunately for Democrats, that toxicity is seemingly
unescapable.






NBC News/Marist Poll
While most pollsters have found the race for Arkansas’ Senate seat to be a very tight contest, despite the
current political environment of the state, NBC News released a new poll showing Senator Pryor holding a
comfortable 11 point lead over Tom Cotton. However, if you look under the surface of this survey, you
see that questionable methodology brings its accuracy into question. The largest red flag is that the
survey polls registered voters as opposed to likely voters. Because of this, Republicans represent a mere
23% of this survey’s respondents and are vastly underrepresented for a midterm election. In the age of
the motor voter, the notion that any polling firm would be surveying registered voters verses screening for
likely voters in a highly contested senate race, is somewhat baffling and calls into question the findings of
the survey.

Furthermore, since Arkansas does not have voter registration, party ID is especially volatile and
unreliable. However, in 2010, when Republicans flipped 3 out of 4 Congressional seats in a political
environment very similar to today, total votes cast showed Republican votes outweighing Democrat votes
by a full 15% or in numeric terms, by more than 100,000 votes. That’s a fact.

2010 Midterms Dem Votes GOP Votes
CD1 78,267
93,224
CD2
80,687
122,091
CD3 56,542
148,581
CD4 102,479 71,526
Total 317,975 435,422
Total Votes Cast 774,125
% of Vote 41.08% 56.25%

Conclusion
We have successfully weathered a constant hailstorm of negative ads and remain in excellent position to
win this race. The state’s political environment is putting the wind at our back as Arkansans continue to
reject President Obama and his agenda. Despite his attempts to distance himself from Washington
Democrats, Pryor’s party and its leaders continue put him at a disadvantage and will likely do so
throughout the race.






METHODOLOGY

The above statewide survey was conducted by OnMessage Inc. in Arkansas. Telephone interviews were conducted May 6-8,
2014. This survey consists of 600 likely general election voters and was stratified by county to reflect historic voter trends. The
margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.00%.

ABOUT US

Wes Anderson is a leading GOP pollster with 20 years of experience in opinion research. As a founding partner, Wes now leads
the polling divisions of OnMessage Inc. and OnMessage Sports, providing political and corporate clients with a full spectrum of
quantitative and qualitative opinion research products. You can read more about Wes Anderson at onmessageinc.com.


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