Syria Role Unclear in Arkansas Senate Race Between Pryor, Cotton (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Saturday, Sep. 7, 2013 3:48 pm  

For Pryor, opposing the intervention gives the incumbent Democrat an example to point to where he's split with Obama and other top Democrats and listened to constituents back home. But it could come at the expense of support from Democrats and incumbents who agree with Obama's position.

Though the debate adds a new foreign policy element to the Senate race, it's far from certain that the race will be decided by anything other than domestic issues. The odd coalition between Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the debate make it harder for either Cotton or Pryor to capitalize on Syria as a campaign issue.

Jay Barth, political science professor at Hendrix College who has been active in Democratic Party politics, said he doubts it's an issue that could move voters in the race.

"Yes, it's got negative public approval right now. That said, there still seems there a lot of people who seem flexible on it," Barth said. "It doesn't feel like it has that kind of power."

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