WASHINGTON — Republican Senate candidate Tom Cotton leads Democrat Mark Pryor — 45 to 40 percent — and Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson leads Democrat Mike Ross — 48 to 39 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 40 percent — and Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson leads Democrat Mike Ross — 48 to 39 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, and Cotton, a freshman U.S. representative in the 4th District, tied at 41 percent. Hutchinson maintains a solid lead over Ross among registered voters, 46 to 39 percent.


The poll of 1,068 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. The margin of error among the 639 likely voters polled is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.


CNN released a poll Friday that showed Cotton leading Pryor among likely voters, 49 to 47 percent. The poll conducted by ORC International had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


The NBC poll found major discontent among Arkansas voters over the direction the nation is headed and the current political leadership in Washington. The poll found 71 percent feel the country is on the wrong track while only 23 percent feel the country is headed in the right direction.


Those surveyed disapprove by nearly a two-to-one margin of the job that President Barack Obama is doing, 61 to 31 percent. As to the job Republicans are doing in Congress, voters disapproved 63 to 23 percent. And, they disapproved of the job Democrats in Congress are doing 64 to 25 percent.


Meanwhile, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe enjoys broad support. The survey found 76 percent approve of the job he is doing with only 16 percent disapproving.