Elicia Dover at KATV reports the first-quarter fundraising totals in the Pryor-Cotton Senate race: Sen. Mark Pryor raised $1.22 milion and has $4.4 million cash on hand, while challenger Rep. Tom Cotton raised $1.35 million and has $2.72 million cash on hand. Of course, outside money will swamp whatever the candidates spend.
Meanwhile, Sean Sullivan at the Washington Post today declares Pryor’s candidacy alive and well, adding to the growing conventional wisdom that Pryor isn’t doomed to Blanche Lincoln’s fate:
The last time a Democratic senator went before voters in Arkansas, she lost by 20 points. Don’t expect a repeat this November.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) is one of the most vulnerable senators facing reelection in November. No one disagrees with that basic fact. But his political obituary may have been written prematurely. Long (but not anymore) viewed — including on this blog — as the most endangered senator of the cycle, Pryor has stayed afloat against tough odds and a capable Republican opponent.
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t make a great deal of difference who is supposedly “winning” or whether pundits in Little Rock or Washington believe in Pryor. But perception matters in fundraising, so Pryor will certainly welcome the rosier CW.
See below for what Cotton is spending some of his money on. Cotton quotes the Washington Post and John Brummett calling shenanigans on a recent attack ad from the Democratic-leaning Senate Majority PAC which makes some dubious claims. The whole dispute is too tedious to recount here but I think Cotton made a mistake including a snippet from the original attack ad (evil voice saying, “Tom Cotton got paid handsomely working for insurance companies”). All of these ads are so irritating that I’m guessing a fair amount of people are only half-paying attention and will only hear the snippet that Cotton means to defend himself against.