June 9th, 2010
07:51 AM ET
10 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
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. AndyBlue

    I would actually vote republican over Blanche Lincoln. And I swore I would never vote republican again after the Bush years.

    This woman is a disaster. Luckily she is Arkansas problem.

    Good luck with all that....

    June 9, 2010 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess the question is will the unions support her in the fall? If they don't, will they remain silent? Has she done enough for them to earn their support in the fall? In the next few months the unions that supported the Lt. Governor need to decided if they are going to stay on the sidelines or support someone they already have a bit of a beef with; Could it be the devil you know or the devil you don't?

    June 9, 2010 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  3. mike

    as we live in a global economy and you can see that in our stock market
    we have to change the way we think that means education for our
    future this is not about less government with no oversight look at what
    happen in the gulf the tea party who are uneducated think that less
    government is a good thing look at what happened bad food ,toys,
    dog food,drugs,dry wall for housing,coal mining,oil ,banks, stocks,
    financial companies have proven they need a baby sitter if not they
    will spill the milk

    June 9, 2010 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Blanche is toast in November – along with a lot of her Obama supporting colleagues. Thanks, Arkansas!

    June 9, 2010 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. enough already

    This shows that the anger is not anti-incumbent, as CNN would have you believe. It is anti-liberal. Blanche Lincoln is an embarrassment, however, it still beats having another liberal to spend us into oblivion.

    June 9, 2010 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  6. chill

    Congrats, Blanche. I find your views frustrating at times, but we need centrists in Congress who actually think things through and are willing to compromise to get the best viable solution passed. Ideologues are are those who can't think for themselves for fear they may actually find a flaw in dogma.

    June 9, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. Willy Brown

    Easy pickins in November 2010 elections.

    June 9, 2010 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  8. Ben

    Too bad, Libs. Looks like Blanche has some life in her after all. Not tha it matters. Boozman leads both Lincoln and Halter in the polls by 20 points. He's going to cruise to victory in November.

    June 9, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. Peace

    Lincoln has to thank former President Clinton a lot. He has rescued her! She was really in deep water!

    June 9, 2010 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  10. Marcus

    There was a Roman (Julius Ceasar if I am not mistaken) who used to say 'To divide is to conquer'...
    Very appropriate for this situation...

    June 9, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. db

    Not surprising. Most people don't vote single issues or single concerns. Yes, there is an anti-incumbent feeling abroad in America, and Lincoln has made some missteps recently, but the majority of voters in Arkansas (and much of the US) will still pick the centrist over the more ideological candidate.

    June 9, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. frank

    Don't complain , your state voted her in, thanks to Clinton,lost his mind and turned against the dems.

    June 9, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  13. Jaxsax

    I heard a bunch of polls were closed in Arkansas which would have helped Halter. i hope he contests the results.

    June 9, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. aneanderthal

    Glad to see the crooked, corrupt unions loose so much money in this travesty, will be even more glad to see this seat taken by a Republican in the fall. Don't feel sorry for the SEIU, they can steal lots more money from their membership and if they run out Obozo can pass another stimulus bill and give the money to them like he did on the last one. Corrupt, inept organization supporting a corrupt inept president.

    June 9, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  15. Scott

    Everybody is missing the point-the right/center leaning America that votes, is now voting for right/center candidates. The folks aren't anti-incumbent–they are anti-liberal and anti-spending and anti-entitlement!

    June 9, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    Liberalism is doing a lousy job.

    June 9, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. Jeff

    Way to go Arkansas Dems and Democratic party establishment!!

    Instead of choosing Halter for election, who could have won, you've picked Lincoln, who will most certainly lose.

    Lincoln vs. Boozeman won't even be close. Say hello to your new R senator.

    June 9, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Halie Witherspoon

    I personally like Ms Lincoln, but she tries to appease all sides of the issues. She voted FOR that vile healthcare bill and lines up like a robot at voting time for Obama's liberal policies which have put our country into an unsustainable fiscal position. She tries to sound like she doesn't support the far-left agenda, but the truth is that she votes for it. Oust her!

    June 9, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. rkolker

    This shows how much the political field has shifted. Lincoln is anything but a centrist. She is to the right of the Republicans I grew up with. Her opponant was closer to being a centrist.

    June 9, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. JP

    Its a safe bet that the union backed candidate is always the worst choice.

    June 9, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. Ohio

    Well, dems. Have you learned your lessons yet about shoving your agenda down mainstream America's throats? Probably not.

    June 9, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. rob

    The real story that DNCNN won't mention is that the Unions poured in $10 million dollars for Lincoln's opponent, and Move-on heavily backed him as well. They were soundly defeated in a year that while being Anti incumbant, will clearly be Anti liberal left incumbant.

    Lincoln is currently 20 points behind the Republican. The race will tighten-up but she will probably lose badly in November.

    Hey DNCNN, keep the spin coming, its fun to watch.

    June 9, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. A Not So Stupid American

    The Democrats are beginning to approach the Republicans for election chicanery. In districts where Halter ran strong, the Arkansas state election commissioner closed polling places.

    He told people to show up to vote early on Saturday and then didn't open the polls.

    June 9, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Ron

    CNN has repeatedly reported about the money unions spent on Halter's campaign without a peep about the corporate millions Lincoln has always received.

    June 9, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. Marge

    I guess the establishment wanted her to win badly. With all the voting manipulations. Closing all but 2 ballot places in Halter's district. Failing by law to notify voters that they wouldn't be allowed early voting and that they had closed down their voting places. Took lots and lots of manipulation. BUT the figure she has the best chance to win the election in November. So the establishment went all out for her. That's what happens when you have them on your side.

    If we had term limits and public funding we wouldn't have the type of people who run for office. REAL PEOPLE, WHO KNOW PUBLIC NEEDS WOULD RUN. HONEST AND CARING NOT THE BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES == FROM BOTH PARTIES===WOULD EVEN BE VOTED FOR.

    June 9, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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