This fall, Republicans hope to claim Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District, one of the few Democratic redoubts in the South. Six-term incumbent Mike Ross is retiring, and the state legislature has redrawn the district’s lines to incorporate more Republican-friendly territory. In other words, it’s ripe for a pickup. And newcomer Tom Cotton may be just the man to win it.
The Republican primary has been a hard-fought contest between the 2010 GOP nominee, Beth Anne Rankin, and Cotton, an Iraq War veteran. But in the latest Talk-Business–Hendrix College poll, Cotton has posted an 18-point lead, 51–33, over Rankin. A third candidate, John Cowart, earns only 6 percent. If Cotton wins over 50 percent of the vote, he’ll secure the nomination; if Rankin holds him under that threshold, the race will go to a runoff.
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