Democratic primary, likely Democratic voters, MoE 5%
Blanche Lincoln (D) 46 (43)
Bill Halter (D) 37 (35)
D.C. Morrison 6 (7)
Undecided 11 (15)
Seems like much treading water compared to two weeks ago, both candidates have inched up. Lincoln will desperately try to capture enough of that undecided vote to get her above 50 percent and avoid the runoff. I'll call it right now -- she won't get to 50. I suspect she'll be around 44-45 percent.
Now remember that the Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Job Security have been spending millions in sleazy ads, while Lincoln herself has been hurling all manner of shit up against the wall, hoping something would stick. On the other side, labor unions have been pummeling Lincoln. And yet...
Favorable/Unfavorable among likely Democratic primary voters
Blanche Lincoln 61/35 (59/33)
Bill Halter 65/17 (66/14)
Halter still has the edge on favorabilities -- his trump card in the primary (and runoff). But beyond that, look a the trend lines. Primary voters are completely ignoring all the mud on the airwaves. The millions spent are having ZERO impact on the primary. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this.
Where it does seem to have an impact, however, is in the general, where the two Democrats slipped vis a vis their Republican foes. More on that in a bit, but first, the GOP race (first time we've polled it):
John Boozman (R) 46
Jim Holt (R) 19
Gilbert Baker (R) 12
Kim Hendren (R) 6
Boozman may end up in a runoff as well as Lincoln. In the general:
Blanche Lincoln (D) 40 (42) -14
John Boozman (R) 54 (52)
Bill Halter (D) 41 (42) -9
John Boozman (R) 50 (47)
Blanche Lincoln (D) 41 -3
Jim Holt (R) 44
Bill Halter (D) 42 -1
Jim Holt (R) 43
Blanche Lincoln (D) 40 (40) -6
Kim Hendren (R) 46 (50)
Bill Halter (D) 42 (43) even
Kim Hendren (R) 42 (45)
Blanche Lincoln (D) 39 (40) -6
Gilbert Baker (R) 45 (47)
Bill Halter (D) 42 (43) even
Gilbert Baker (R) 42 (44)
Any incumbent in the low 40s is in deep shit, and Lincoln is particularly unliked in Arkansas. Her overall favorabilities are 39-55, which remain in "catastrophic" territory, and that includes a 38-59 rating among independents. Bill Halter is at 47-34, including 46-34 among independents. Democrats are far better off nominating the guy with the plus 13 favorability, than the negative 21.
Halter is even slightly more liked than Boozman, at 45-34.
While Boozman runs strongest against the Dems, he's likely our best general election foe. His 10-year tenure in Congress will make it impossible for him to run against DC. In a battle of entrenched DC insiders, Lincoln is toast. But Halter could run the perfect outsider campaign against Boozman. That's who I'm rooting for the GOP win.
Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is beating his Republican opponent 62-19.
Haven't seen one of our guys winning a blowout like that in a while. Savor it.
Seriously guys, just a few more days until the primary. It's hard to bitch about bad Democrats in the Senate killing good legislation if you don't help punish the worst offenders. If we take out Lincoln -- certainly doable in a runoff election -- the message will be sent.
This is our chance to hold our party accountable. You sit on the sidelines, you lose your right to bitch about the sorry state of our party.