How Do You Spell ‘Pryor’? New Crossroads Ad Says ‘O-B-A-M-A’

American Crossroads also releases poll showing Pryor trailing Republican Tom Cotton by 5 points.

UNITED STATES - APRIL 25: Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., prepares to speak at a Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee's "Rural Summit," on issues such as housing, rural development, agriculture, education and conservation in the Dirksen Senate Office building. 
CQ-Roll Call,Inc.
Alex Roarty
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
June 2, 2014, 8:05 p.m.

Amer­ic­ans Cross­roads is be­gin­ning a ma­jor ad buy in Arkan­sas on Tues­day, spend­ing nearly a half-mil­lion dol­lars on a new TV spot that tells view­ers Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mark Pry­or votes just like Pres­id­ent Obama.

And just as the Karl Rove-linked su­per PAC hits the air­waves, it’s also re­leas­ing an in­tern­al poll of its own show­ing the GOP nom­in­ee, Rep. Tom Cot­ton, with a com­fort­able 5-point lead over the two-term Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bent among likely voters. The GOP sur­vey re­ports the pres­id­ent’s ap­prov­al rat­ings hov­er­ing in the mid-30s — a dan­ger­ous level of sup­port for any can­did­ate run­ning in the same party.

Col­lect­ively, the ac­tions look like an at­tempt to re­as­sure nervous sup­port­ers that Cot­ton is a clear-cut fa­vor­ite to win in Novem­ber after a rocky couple of months for his cam­paign. Once the GOP’s most cel­eb­rated re­cruit of 2014, Cot­ton has watched a string of pub­lic polls this spring show Pry­or un­ex­pec­tedly hold­ing the lead — one by as many as 11 points. Al­though out­wardly still con­fid­ent, the Re­pub­lic­an’s aides began ac­know­ledging they had made mis­takes in the race’s early go­ing.

But Cot­ton still has the ad­vant­age of run­ning in a deeply red state and with the help of well-fun­ded out­side group al­lies, who have already spent mil­lions aid­ing his can­did­acy. The latest ad, a $440,000 buy spread over one week, re­vis­its an old theme of the cam­paign: Pry­or votes just like the un­pop­u­lar Obama.

In the spot, a grade-school­er is asked to spell “Pry­or” in a kind of mock spelling bee. The child re­sponds by spelling out “O-B-A-M-A,” and the judges rule that she was “close enough.” (The Scripps Na­tion­al Spelling Bee was held last week.)

Cross­roads’ sur­vey found Obama’s ap­prov­al rat­ing un­der­wa­ter, with 35 per­cent ap­prov­ing and 62 per­cent dis­ap­prov­ing of his per­form­ance. It showed Pry­or with a stronger fa­vor­ab­il­ity among voters — 45 per­cent ap­prov­ing, 36 per­cent dis­ap­prov­ing versus 40 per­cent to 36 per­cent for Cot­ton — but a gen­er­ic Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate with a 5-point edge over Pry­or, 45 per­cent to 40 per­cent.

The poll, con­duc­ted from May 27 to May 29 by Pub­lic Opin­ion Strategies, has a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or minus 4.39 per­cent­age points. It sur­veyed 500 likely voters by land­line and cell phone.

In the head-to-head match­up, Cot­ton leads 46 per­cent to 41 per­cent, with 7 per­cent un­de­cided.

“Forty-one per­cent is a per­il­ous place for an in­cum­bent to find him­self, and Mark Pry­or is a ser­i­ous un­der­dog to Tom Cot­ton in this race,” the polling memo from POS read.

The poll also found Re­pub­lic­an gubernat­ori­al can­did­ate Asa Hutchin­son lead­ing Demo­crat Mike Ross 48 per­cent to 42 per­cent. 

What We're Following See More »
‘INEXCUSABLE REMARKS’
DNC Formally Apologizes to Bernie Sanders
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."

Source:
STILL A ‘SAFE SEAT’
DCCC Won’t Aid Wasserman Schultz
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

The chairman of the DCCC said Debbie Wasserman Schultz won't be getting financial help from the organization this year, even as she faces a well-funded primary challenger. "Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said the committee’s resources will be spent helping Democrats in tough races rather than those in seats that are strongholds for the party." Executive Director Kelly Ward added, “We never spend money in safe seats."

Source:
STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE TO FILL IN
Wasserman Schultz Won’t Gavel Open the Convention
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given up her last remaining duty at this week's convention. Now, she's told her hometown newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that she will not gavel in the convention today. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will do the honors instead. "I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz said.

Source:
SUPPORTERS’ RALLY
Sanders Supporters Boo When He Mentions Clinton-Kaine
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Source:
ALL EYES ON RUSSIANS
FBI Investigating DNC Hack
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."

Source:
×