March 1st, 2010
12:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Sen. Lincoln gets primary challenge

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (right) announced he will launch a primary challenge to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (left).
Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (right) announced he will launch a primary challenge to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (left).

(CNN) - Add a primary challenge to Sen. Blanche Lincoln's growing list of political problems.

Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter announced Monday morning that he's launching a Democratic primary challenge to Lincoln, who was already facing a tough re-election battle this year.

"Washington is broken. Bailing out Wall Street, with no strings attached while middle class Arkansas tax payers with the bill. Protecting insurance company profits instead of patients and lowering health costs. Gridlock, bickering and partisan games while unemployment is at a 25 year high. Enough is enough. It is past time to put more Arkansas values in Washington," said Halter in an anti-incumbent message in a video posted on his Web site.

Four progressive organizations, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, MoveOn.org, and Daily Kos, released an e-mail pledging to raise half a million dollars over the next week for Halter, who worked in President Bill Clinton's administration. Halter is expected to formally announce his primary bid Tuesday when he files papers of candidacy at the state capitol in Little Rock.

Halter's move means Lincoln will now add a challenge from the left to a number of challenges from the right. Since she teamed up with Vice President Joe Biden last year to launch her re-election bid for a third term, Lincoln has faced criticism from labor unions and progressive groups for what they describe as her move to right in order to save her seat.

Recent polls of Arkansas voters suggest Lincoln's approval rating and favorable ratings have dropped over the past year, a fact that's encouraged eight Republicans to battle for the GOP Senate nomination. A survey last month indicated that many of those Republican challengers were either leading or deadlocked with Lincoln in hypothetical general election matchups.

Update: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed Monday afternoon that President Barack Obama will support Lincoln in her primary fight with Halter.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Bill Halter • Blanche Lincoln • Popular Posts
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Brian L

    good she is one of the Dems that blocked health care for her own selfish reasons..... if she likes the TEA bags she can stand and fall with them.

    March 1, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. felicia

    That's good, she weak anyway

    March 1, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Bridget

    I'm sure it's tough to be Blanche Lincoln right now. The Dems don't like her because she is a Republican in disguise, and the Repubs don't like her simply because she has "D" next to her name. Thankfully, a true Democrat is going to challenge her.

    March 1, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. kem

    All I have to say is that we need a "real" democrat in that seat. Blanche proved that she isnt, just when the democrats needed her most, she started acting "simple". Get her out.

    March 1, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. Sue

    Lincoln is fighting for a seat where the voters lean conservative.

    And, the Democrats/liberals think that a liberal can win the seat???

    It is kind of funny actually.

    March 1, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. demogal

    Go Halter! Lincoln has been a tool of Wall Street and the big insurance companies long enough. Let's get him past the primary and launch big support for his candidacy in the general election. I have studied both, and I believe in this man!

    March 1, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Tony

    Halter drives a truck so the Republicans will be voting for him in droves..

    March 1, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Angie in PA

    I say go for it lets get rid of Blanche this Republican pretending to be a democrat. she has done nothing for the people of Arkansas nothing for the democrat party she needs to join the dark side the Republicans enough of these so called Blue dogs who are really Republicans vote true democrat!

    March 1, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. David Wells

    Yes!!! I can't stand Lincoln's recent Moderate views, which only helps Republicans. I'm glad to see a more progressive Democrat run against her, he gets my vote!!!!!

    March 1, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. judi

    I think we may be looking at a new trend. Incumbents beware, people are tired of politics as usual in DC. Regardless of party, something new is better than the same old thing. All of them need to be careful...

    March 1, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. AJ

    Ya hoo!! Send the hag on her way!

    March 1, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Pepou

    Democrats who behave like Republicans will face consequences. It's about time that we finally get reforms passed.

    March 1, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Monster Zero

    Four progressive organizations, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, MoveOn.org, and Daily Kos, released an e-mail pledging to raise half a million dollars over the next week for Halter, who worked in President Bill Clinton's administration.
    ________________________________

    Vote for Lincoln, see above backers of Halter, enough said! Remeber now, Greenspan under Clinton led the way to where we are now.

    March 1, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. MsDp

    Good, and I hope he wins! At least we know where he stands and who he will support – the American People and not the American Corporations!!!!!!

    March 1, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Beef King

    Bill Halter has no solutions, only hatred.
    Vote no on Bill Halter, he is nothing but the same old bs.

    March 1, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. craig

    Thank goodness. Blanche Lincoln is a corporate crony. She made her bed with Joe LIEberman. Now sleep in it.

    March 1, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Rickster

    It's astonishing to watch. These democrat politicians, one after another, could have had long, secure careers getting reelected time after time but these fools decided to hitch their wagon to the Barry Obama train and they are riding it right over the cliff.

    March 1, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. stormerF

    Good time for her to go,she is such a wishy washy politicians. Always trying to straddle the line and not willing to pick a side.Then wanting to fill her pockets after seeing others getting bribes for their vote.

    March 1, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Rob in CA.

    She is a wolf in sheep's clothing, another uber-conservative Democrat who may as welll be a Republican. No wonder she's in a dead heat with the Republicans! The Democratic Party needs more progressives like Bill Halter who will stand up to health insurance companies for their constituents, not roll over and play dead.

    March 1, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Michael

    Democrats are always our own worst enemies.

    You rarely see this type of jockeying to challenge one another (at least not publicly) in the Republican Party.

    As an aside, Democrats must pass the healthcare bill, even through reconciliation, if they want to keep Democrats, let alone Independents, on their side for the mid-term elections.

    March 1, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Miss Independence

    That's all i need to know if moveon.org is involved...we need to defeat Halter....

    March 1, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Jonathan Burton

    Blanche is one of the Senators that has helped derail healthcare.
    She has wasted he time (and ours) in not doing to popular thing for her constituents.
    Now there is a challenger to her seat.
    GOOD!
    Maybe now her seat will be occupied with a statesman, a leader.
    Not just a reluctant and timid politician.

    March 1, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Dale

    Democrat??? I'm a conservative BUT
    A real democrat might not be so bad...... The problem is that LIBERALS have been running on a democratic ticket and not showing their true colors until they are in office. Then breaking every pormise and trying to turn everyone against each other.

    SO, if you a true democrat "Welcome" BUT if your a LIBERAL with a LIBERAL agenda., Take a hike.

    How can you REAL democrats fall for these LIBERAL con artist?

    March 1, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Bubba

    "put more Arkansas values in Washington," Fire up the grill, Billy Bob, we got some roadkill.

    March 1, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Black Viper

    I am Jubilating over this news. I am an Independant and I hate Republicans and Democrats that look for their own interest instead of the interest of the people they are supposed to represent.
    For the republicans they can get away easily because they don't have a very smart voting base, they only have people with extreme inapplicable or outdated ideology in the 21st century of globalization.

    March 1, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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