July 20th, 2010
07:40 PM ET
4 years ago

New poll spells trouble for Lincoln

Sen. Blanche Lincoln is trailing her general election opponent, according to a new poll.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln is trailing her general election opponent, according to a new poll.

(CNN) – A new poll released Tuesday indicates trouble ahead for incumbent Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Lincoln, who was able to survive a tight Democratic primary process against the more liberal Lieutenant Gov. Bill Halter, is now trailing Republican candidate Rep. John Boozman by 19 points in the general election matchup according to a new poll.

Conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, the poll indicates Boozman tops Lincoln, 54 percent to 35 percent.

Since the bitter primary ended, Lincoln has scored a major legislative victory, playing an important role in the passage of the Wall Street reform bill, authoring a provision that increases regulation of the derivatives market.

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Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Blanche Lincoln
June 11th, 2010
09:16 AM ET
4 years ago

Lincoln turned it back on just in time to fight off challenge

Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln was once a stranger to the national press corps.
Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln was once a stranger to the national press corps.

Washington (CNN) - One day late last year, Blanche Lincoln held a news conference in the Senate. That sure doesn't sound like much of a headline, but at the time it was.

For much of 2009's heated health care debate, she avoided reporters like the plague.

She was such a stranger to the Capitol Hill press corps that when she walked into her news conference, she commented on what she thought was a new backdrop for the press studio frequented by senators. It had actually been renovated more than a year earlier.

Lincoln barely acknowledged Washington reporters - this one assumed she was being strategic and limiting her interaction - especially about the divisive health care debate.

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Filed under: 2010 • Blanche Lincoln
June 9th, 2010
07:51 AM ET
4 years ago

Against liberal opposition, a centrist Democrat wins primary






(CNN) - Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln won the Democratic primary Tuesday night, beating back a challenge from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in this high profile contest that exposed a rift between the liberal and centrist wings of the Democratic Party.

Lincoln was targeted by national unions and liberal activists, who accused the Arkansas Democrat of turning her back on them as well as failing to support President Obama's policy goals.

The Lincoln critics found their candidate in Halter and poured millions of dollars into Arkansas. Halter officially announced his candidacy in March making the primary a sprint, not a marathon.

With the help of these outside activists, the lieutenant governor forced Lincoln into this June runoff election after she failed to receive more than 50 percent of the vote in last month's primary.

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Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Blanche Lincoln
June 8th, 2010
11:16 PM ET
4 years ago

Menendez hails Lincoln win

(CNN) – Sen. Bob Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln has "proven once again she is a true independent voice for the people of Arkansas."

Full statement:

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Filed under: Bill Halter • Blanche Lincoln
June 8th, 2010
07:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Lincoln mocks effort to blame her for oil spill

 Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln mocked an attempt by her political opponents in the final stretch of the state's runoff election to blame her for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln mocked an attempt by her political opponents in the final stretch of the state's runoff election to blame her for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Little Rock, Arkansas (CNN) - Big oil Blanche? Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln mocked an attempt by her political opponents in the final stretch of the state's runoff election to blame her for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"You know it's amazing to me that all of the sudden I am now the reason for the oil spill," Lincoln told reporters after voting in Little Rock on Tuesday. "I can't figure out for the life of me where that has come from other than just that these outside interest groups and others want to put negative outside advertising out there about me and try and mislead voters. I am certainly not part of that problem in the Gulf."

A television ad airing in Arkansas sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund this week links Lincoln with campaign contributions from oil companies and highlights her support for offshore drilling.

The ad calls the campaign donations "another gusher" and maintains that Lincoln has taken more money in the last two years than any other senator, and a half-million dollars since she was elected. With a BP logo prominently displayed on the screen, the television ad argues that Lincoln "got that money because she helped Bush and Cheney give oil companies 14 million in tax breaks or maybe because she voted to allow risky offshore drilling for BP and others. It's time to send big oil a message. On Tuesday send big oil packing."

The environmental group also created a website targeting Lincoln, labeling her "big oil Blanche."

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Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Blanche Lincoln
June 8th, 2010
01:41 PM ET
4 years ago

Lincoln sounds note of party unity

Little Rock, Arkansas (CNN) – Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, began the day that could end her Senate career insisting she feels good about pulling off a win, but also vowing to support her Democratic opponent should he snatch the party's nomination.

"I'll always support the Democratic Party of Arkansas. I'm a Democrat," Lincoln told CNN in an interview at her first stop of the day to greet voters.






For the past three weeks, Lincoln has been locked in a runoff against her Democratic challenger, Lt. Gov Bill Halter, trying to avoid becoming the latest incumbent lawmaker torched by anti-Washington fever.

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Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Bill Halter • Blanche Lincoln
June 8th, 2010
09:30 AM ET
4 years ago

Lincoln trying to convince voters 'incumbent' not a dirty word

Little Rock, Arkansas (CNN) - Log on to Blanche Lincoln's campaign website and you will see a detailed, county-by-county list of money and programs the two-term Democratic senator has secured for Arkansas.

Usually that "look-what-I've-done-for-you-lately" pitch can help embattled incumbents assuage voters' concerns. But this election year is anything but usual.

Lincoln is trying to avoid becoming the third sitting Democratic lawmaker this year to be defeated by a fellow Democrat in a primary battle, but Democratic sources in Washington and Arkansas tell CNN they're not sure she can pull off a win Tuesday.

Her challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, forced moderate Lincoln into a runoff not by coming at her from the left, but from the outside - with a classic 2010 anti-Washington message.

Listen: University of Arkansas political scientist on Lincoln-Halter race



Subscribe to the CNN Radio Political Notebook podcast on iTunes

"Arkansans around the state are telling me that they want a change, and they know that if you send the same people to Washington, you're guaranteed to get the same results," Halter said during a weekend campaign stop.

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Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Bill Halter • Blanche Lincoln
June 6th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
4 years ago

'I'm up against a lot,' says Lincoln

'I am very much a moderate,' Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said Sunday.
'I am very much a moderate,' Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said Sunday.

(CNN) – With only days left until her political future is decided in Arkansas’ Senate Democratic primary runoff, incumbent Blanche Lincoln criticized her opponent and defended her moderate record which has drawn fire from both conservatives and liberals during this midterm election year.

“I’m up against a lot,” Lincoln said on CNN’s State of the Union after detailing the significant support her opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, has received from unions and liberal groups.

Related: Halter coy on union issues

Asked by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley about the voter anger that has been directed at her from both conservatives and liberals, Lincoln said the challenges she is facing in her re-election bid are part of a wider political trend.

“I think they are angry at Washington,” she told Crowley, “and I think they are frustrated.”

And the two-term senator sought to both assume the mantle of change, which brought President Obama to office and has now become a rising tide targeting Lincoln and other incumbents, and to defend her record of moderate views.

“The fact is, I have been a part of change in Washington,” Lincoln said. “That's why I first went to Washington. I started groups like the Blue Dogs and the New Democrats in the Senate. I am very much a moderate. I was one of the senators that helped to bring down the cost of the stimulus package and so many other things that I felt like were very much in tune with what Arkansas wanted to see.”
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Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Blanche Lincoln • State of the Union
June 6th, 2010
01:03 PM ET
June 4th, 2010
10:46 AM ET
4 years ago

Clinton, Lincoln team up in new ad

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's new campaign ad features former President Bill Clinton.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln's new campaign ad features former President Bill Clinton.

Washington (CNN) - Incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln is pulling out the big guns in her bid to defeat a hard charging challenger in the Arkansas Democratic Senate run-off.

Now just four days away from her showdown with Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, Lincoln's newest campaign ad features former President Bill Clinton – the favorite son of Arkansan Democrats.

The two-term senator is locked in a tight run-off with Halter after neither candidate cracked the 50-percent mark in the May 18 primary.

Clinton made an appearance with Lincoln at a campaign event last Friday in Little Rock, and the new 30-second spot features video of Clinton quoting from a Washington Post article that said that national labor unions had decided to make Lincoln "the poster child for what happens when a Democrat crosses them."

Titled "The President," the ad closes with Clinton telling the crowd that "if you want to be Arkansas' advocate, vote for somebody that will fight for you."

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Filed under: 2010 • Bill Clinton • Bill Halter • Blanche Lincoln
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