NYTimes Poll Suprise: Southern Senate Dems In The Lead

Senator-elect Kay Hagan, D-N.C., celebrates at her election party in Greensboro, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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A round of new polls conducted by The New York Times and Kaiser Family Foundation have some good (and surprising) news for a handful of Southern Senate Democrats regarded as the most vulnerable in the 2014 election cycle.

The polls, released Wednesday, found Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) leading Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) 46 percent to 36 percent. In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just barely leads Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) 44 percent to 43 percent, the poll found.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is neck-and-neck with House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC) in a hypothetical matchup with Hagan getting 42 percent while Tillis gets 40 percent.

Lastly, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has a commanding lead over Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and the rest of the field in the Louisiana Senate race. That finding deserves a caveat: Louisiana’s primary system is something called a “jungle primary” where there is no Republican or Democratic primary. Instead all candidates run together and if no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates face each other in a runoff election. The poll found Landrieu with 42 percent followed by Cassidy with 18 percent. No other candidate managed to get double digits.

The polls were conducted April 8 to the 15. In Arkansas 1,027 voters were surveyed 857 of which were registered voters. In Kentucky, 1,026 voters were surveyed and 891 were registered voters. In Louisiana, 1,075 were surveyed and 946 were registered voters. In North Carolina 1, 024 were surveyed and 900 were registered voters. The margin of error for each poll was plus or minus 4 percentage points for registered voters.

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