A poll commission by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College showed Cotton and Rankin with 38.5 percent each. A third candidate, John Cowart, received 4 percent of the vote. 19 percent said they weren't sure who they could vote for.
Rankin is a businesswoman from Magnolia who unsuccessfully tried to take the seat from Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, in 2010. She's already been endorsed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Cotton is an attorney and farmer from Dardanelle who has raised the most money among the candidates at this point. Cotton was recently endorsed by former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain who noted his war service.
Three Democrats are also seeking the spot and will appear on the May 22 ballot. They are Q. Bynum Hurst of Hot Springs, state Sen. Gene Jeffress of Louann and D.C. Morrison of Little Rock.