WASHINGTON — Republican Senate candidate Tom Cotton leads Democrat Mark Pryor — 45 to 43 percent — and Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson leads Democrat Mike Ross — 47 to 44 percent — among likely voters, according to the latest NBC-Marist Poll released on Sunday.

WASHINGTON — Republican Senate candidate Tom Cotton leads Democrat Mark Pryor — 45 to 43 percent — and Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson leads Democrat Mike Ross — 47 to 44 percent — among likely voters, according to the latest NBC-Marist Poll released on Sunday.


The poll showed a tighter race among a larger pool of registered voters with Pryor, the two-term Senate incumbent, with a razor-thin lead over Cotton, a freshman U.S. representative in the 4th District, at 43 to 42 percent. Ross leads Hutchinson, 44 to 43 percent, among registered voters.


A similar NBC News/Marist Poll survey conducted in mid-September showed Cotton and Hutchinson holding larger leads among likely voters.


The survey also found that Cotton is more favorably rated than Pryor among likely voters — 46 percent have a favorable impression of Cotton, while 41 percent have a favorable impression of Pryor. Hutchinson is more favorably rated than Ross among likely voters, 51 to 46 percent. President Obama’s approval rating in Arkansas was 34 percent among registered voters, according to the latest poll.


As to what issues are most important, Arkansas voters were divided: 19 percent said it is jobs and growth, 18 percent said Social Security and Medicare, 15 percent said ending Washington gridlock, 11 percent said health care and 10 percent said deficit spending.


The Arkansas survey was conducted Oct. 18-22 and included 621 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.