Poll: Cotton, Pryor neck and neck

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There are some major warning signs for Pryor. His approval rating is at 34 percent, with 48 percent disapproving.

Most polls show the race is a toss-up, though other polling has found Pryor to be in slightly better shape in his personal rating.

The poll was conducted shortly after the government shut down, which didn't appear to be helping Pryor much in the heavily conservative state, an indication that the fight in Washington might not help red-state Democratic senators facing reelection as much as some on the left have predicted.

National polling shows most of the blame falling on the GOP, but in this poll 40 percent blamed President Obama and Democrats for the shutdown, 35 percent blamed Republicans, and 24 percent blamed both.

One-day polls are typically not reliable indicators, however, especially when they are conducted close to a major, such as the government shutdown.

The poll of 603 likely Arkansas voters was conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Oct. 8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.