Arkansas Senate Election: Blanche Lincoln (D) vs. John Boozman (R)
CBS NEWS RATING: Edge Republican
Incumbent Blanche Lincoln is a Democrat facing a tough reelection battle in a Republican-leaning state. In the post-Clinton years, Arkansas has trended more Republican when it comes to presidential politics. John McCain carried Arkansas by 59% to 39% -- a larger margin than George W. Bush won the state.
Also troubling is Lincoln, a moderate, faced a primary challenge this year from the state's Lt. Gov Bill Halter. She was criticized by progressive Democrats for her failure to support a public option as part of health care legislation (she did ultimately vote for the reform bill) and for her vote against the Employee Free Choice Act, commonly known as Card Check. Halter forced Lincoln into a run-off but she ultimately defeated him 52% to 48%, with the help of former President Clinton who campaigned for her.
Lincoln needs to have Halter voters back her in the general election. Organized Labor was a key component to Halter's campaign but they are not likely to be enthusiastically supporting Lincoln this fall. John Boozman, a Republican congressman, voted against health care reform and supports its repeal. He also voted against the Wall Street Reform bill, while Lincoln played an important role in the legislation by authoring a provision that increases regulation of derivatives.
While Lincoln defeated her opponent in 2004 (Jim Holt) by double-digits, he managed to get 44% of the vote while spending only $148, 682, compared to Lincoln's $5.8 million. It remains to be seen what kind of electorate turns out. Lincoln last ran in a presidential election year when turnout is typically higher than in mid-terms. Sixty-two percent of registered voters cast ballots in 2004, but in 2006, for the Arkansas governor's race, just 48% of registered voters turned out.
Can a moderate Democrat hang on to a Senate seat in the South?
See all CBS News Election 2010 Race Ratings
- Profile Updated October 14. Prepared by Jennifer De Pinto and Nick Dietz of CBS News' Election & Survey Unit.
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