Senator Blanche Lincoln defied the nation’s anti-incumbent sentiment and scored a surprising victory last week in Arkansas’ Democratic runoff election by beating the state’s lieutenant governor, Bill Halter.
The two candidates were forced into the runoff after neither garnered the majority of votes during last month’s Senate primary.
Many political pundits had predicted that Lincoln would fail to win her party’s nomination due to her opposition to the public option in the healthcare bill and her hostility towards labor unions, which actively supported Halter in the primary election.
In fact, party insiders predicted a 10 percentage point loss for Lincoln, according to the Christian Science Monitor. She made a last second charge for the nomination after receiving support from former President Bill Clinton, an Arkansas native.
However, due to the state’s current dissatisfaction with the Obama administration and its allies, liberals and conservatives alike believe that Lincoln will be a considerable underdog in November when she faces off against the state’s Republican nominee, Representative John Boozman.
"Senator Lincoln survived this intra-party war by fully embracing her liberal Washington record, but she faces an uphill battle explaining to mainstream Arkansas voters why she has consistently voted for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid economic agenda in Washington," said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.