Polls show red-state Senate Dems still alive

Red-state Democratic Senate candidates are still alive and kicking, according to four new nonpartisan polls.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a top GOP target, leads Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) by 46 percent-36 percent in a live-caller poll conducted for The New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Pryor's approval rating is at 47 percent with 38 percent disapproving, good numbers for any Democrat in a state as conservative as Arkansas.

The polls likely do not reflect what the electorate will look like this fall, however. In the Arkansas poll, for instance, fully 39 percent of those in the sample say they're paying little or no attention to the 2014 campaign, despite heavy spending on ads from both sides in the race. One-third of the registered voters surveyed in Arkansas didn't vote in 2012, a sign the poll's sample isn't reflective of what Election Day will look like. Similar problems plague the other polls.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also in a dogfight, according to the poll. McConnell leads Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) by 44 percent-43 percent in the heavily Republican state. McConnell's approval rating is at 40 percent with 52 percent disapproving, though President Obama is much worse and possibly dragging Grimes down in the state — his approval rating is 32 percent.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), another top Republican target who's had millions spent against her, has narrow two-point leads over her two most likely Republican opponents. Hagan leads North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) by 42 percent-40 percent, and she has a 41 percent-39 percent lead over Tea Party favorite Greg Brannon. Her approval rating and disapproval rating are both at 44 percent, a sign she's in a tough position heading into the fall.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) leads Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) by 42 percent-18 percent in a multi-candidate race, according to the polls. 

This post was updated at 10:50 a.m.

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