Blanche Lincoln wins! | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blanche Lincoln wins!

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 10:00 PM

You heard my feelings here first, about 8:07 p.m., that Blanche Lincoln was going to survive this runoff for the Democratic nomination to hold onto her U.S. Senate seat.

The race has now been called for Lincoln, with a 52-48 lead over Bill Halter with more than 80 percent of the precincts in and some 220,000 votes cast. The runoff vote will be bigger than many expected.

I refer you back to all the factors I mentioned earlier that need reconsideration in light of Lincoln's victory. Perhaps among those elements that need to be reconsidered is the feeling that Bill Halter would have been a stronger opponent for Republican John Boozman in the fall. Lincoln's high negatives are a daunting obstacle, but Boozman's negatives haven't been fully developed yet.

I said on MSNBC at 5 p.m. today that I thought Halter would win. I wish they'd had the camera on when a producer asked me as I left the set if I thought Halter would win by 5 or 6. I said I wouldn't go that far. I said that if D.C. Morrison votes all stayed home, Lincoln would win. She led Halter in the first primary, remember? But it's not enough to say that the hot-heads stayed home. A number of Democratic primary voters, bombarded by appeals from both candidates and many face-to-face appeals from Halter people, decided they liked Blanche Lincoln's message, or personality or incumbency or something more. The question now is to figure what that special something was and to apply it in November.

Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on?

UPDATE: Bill Halter conceded about 10:10 p.m. But here comes Blanche Lincoln. She said the message was "loud and clear":

"The vote of this senator is not for sale and neither is the vote of the people of Arkansas."

This "daughter of the Delta" said she knows "Washington needs to work for us in Arkansas. And I can tell you here and now Arkansas and this senator is going to be part of the solution ..."

Lincoln congratulated Halter and his supporters for a "good fight and a good race."

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