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Senate race heats up in Arkansas - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

U.S. Senate race heats up in Arkansas

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ARKANSAS -

The hotly debated U.S. Senate race in Arkansas is already beginning to be a costly and heated election fight.
    
Last month, conservative freshman U.S. Representative Tom Cotton announced his plans to challenge Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Pryor in Arkansas' race for U.S. Senate.
    
Tom Cotton was only in congress about 7 months, when he threw his hat into the race against incumbent Senator Mark Pryor.

"Some people say I'm a man in hurry, they're right. When problems are this severe, I'm in a hurry to try and solve them," said Cotton.

"One of things I've tried to do over the last ten years is support working Arkansans," said Pryor.
 
Soon after Cotton's bid for senate, Pryor, a two-term incumbent, began slamming him for his congressional record so far.  
 
"When you vote against student loans and against the farm bill and you vote to cut medicare and social security, you're not voting for Arkansas," said Pryor. "You're carrying someone else's water."

Meanwhile, several outside conservative groups have spent about a million dollars attacking Pryor on issues such as health care.

Pryor has been considered among the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents running in 2014 and a prime target for Republicans.

"This is going to be one of the most high profile races in the country," explained Jennifer Duffy, Senior Editor, Cook Political Report.  

Duffy says the candidates will likely spend the next few months raising money because it will be a very expensive race.

At the end of June, Pryor had almost $4 million in campaign cash.

Cotton had just over $1 million at the end June, that was before he made his announcement for the Senate race in August.

"For Republicans this is a very important race, if they want to pick up the 6th Democrat seat they need for a majority," said Duffy. "Arkansas is kind of a must-win."

Duffy says it's too soon to say whether the issue of Syria will become a real voting issue, but so far politics may not always be what they seem.

While Pryor, the Democrat incumbent, has announced his opposition to a strike on Syria. Cotton, a Republican army veteran, is calling for the US to intervene.

A recent survey conducted by Global Strategy Group, a Democratic Polling Firm, found Pryor leading Cotton, 47% to 41%.
    
The poll also found only 11% of voters to be undecided in the race.

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