Blanche Lincoln-Bill Halter run-off signals hopelessness for Democrats in Arkansas
Senator Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas’s incumbent Democrat, must be relieved that instead of losing to Bill Halter, the state’s lieutenant governor, she will face him in a run-off on June 8. But there’s little for anyone in the Democratic establishment to be hopeful about beyond that day.
The numbers are terrible for Lincoln and Democrats in the state. Lincoln was projected to have a healthy lead over Halter, but with about 86% of the vote counted, she’s ahead of Halter by about 5,000 votes. Meanwhile, neither she nor Halter can count on picking up a substantial number of votes from weirdo ‘conservative Democrat’ D.C. Morrison, who’s 39,000-plus voters must include a substantial number of Rush Limbaugh-style Operation Chaos provocateurs. A large proportion of these voters are stating outright that they have an interest in neither the moderation of Lincoln nor the more-liberal-leaning Halter. Morrison is unlikely to endorse either candidate, and they will vote Republican in November if they hadn’t planned to all along.
And they’ll have a clear choice, too. While Halter and Lincoln angle for advantage in the next few weeks, Rep. John Boozman captured a clear majority of the Republican electorate. They will rally around him in the months to come.
Numerically, it would appear that Lincoln can hold on in the June 8 run-off. But without a substantial change in her political fortunes, she’s got no hope come November. On a national level, it would appear that Democrats are just going to need to let this one go.