08/26/2014 12:24 pm ET Updated Aug 26, 2014

Arkansas Senate Race Randomly Contracts Ebola Virus

WASHINGTON -- Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor's (D) re-election campaign is out with a new ad that preys on fears over the growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The ad begins by showing several news anchors dramatically relaying concerns about the outbreak, which has cost 1,400 lives in five countries. A narrator then criticizes Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Pryor's challenger, for voting to "cut billions from our nation's medical disaster and emergency programs." An image of Cotton is paired with the caption, "only one against pandemic response."

Cotton was one of 29 House members to vote against a 2013 bill reauthorizing funding for public health and emergency programs.

The ad also hits Cotton over his vote against funding pediatric research at Arkansas Children's Hospital. The line of attack is a frequent one, attracting millions of dollars in spending from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

A spokesman for Cotton's campaign accused Pryor of "desperation."

"Senator Pryor's desperation is comical," David Ray said in a statement. "In Senator Pryor's world, he doesn't have to take responsibility for rubber-stamping the Obama agenda over 90% of the time, but wants Arkansans to believe Tom Cotton is responsible for everything from Ebola to crabgrass and male-pattern baldness."

Cotton and Pryor are currently neck and neck in the hotly contested race. HuffPost Pollster, which averages all publicly available polling data, shows the Republican with a 0.5 percentage point lead.

Watch the ad above.



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