Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 4/26-28. Likely voters. MoE 4% (4/12-14 results)
Democratic primary MoE 5%
Blanche Lincoln (D) 43 (45)
Bill Halter (D) 35 (33)
Other 7 (6)
Undecided 15 (16)
Favorable/Unfavorable/No opinion among likely Democratic primary voters
Lincoln 59/33/8 (65/31/4)
Halter 66/14/20 (69/11/23)
A month ago, Lincoln had a solid 13-point lead, 44-31, that has been whittled down to eight points, and at 43 percent, Lincoln's chances of a 1st-round knockout are growing dimmer by the day. If neither candidate gets over 50 percent, there will be a three-week runoff, and the last thing Lincoln needs is to give Halter more time to close the deal. The trendlines are certainly not in her favor. And with her sleazy, negative attacks having less of an impact on Halter (down six net points in favorability) than on her (down eight), she's stuck in the mud.
Furthermore, African Americans now prefer Halter 39-31 over Lincoln, and Halter almost has parity among women -- losing that demographic to Lincoln by only 40-38. Lincoln's 17-point lead among men (47-30) is keeping her in the lead, and it's the one demographic that hasn't swung much in Halter's direction the past month -- it was 48-28 a month ago.
There are still over three weeks until the May 18 primary, Halter's current strategy is thus far doing the trick. And after last weekend's disastrous debate performances by Lincoln, it's obvious why she is refusing to do any more of them.
But Halter's advantages are even more obvious in the general election matchups:
Blanche Lincoln (D) 42 (43) -10
John Boozman (R) 52 (50)
Bill Halter (D) 42 (41) -5
John Boozman (R) 47 (48)
Blanche Lincoln (D) 40 (42) -10
Kim Hendren (R) 50 (49)
Bill Halter (D) 43 (43) -2
Kim Hendren (R) 45 (46)
Blanche Lincoln (D) 40 (41) -7
Gilbert Baker (R) 47 (48)
Bill Halter (D) 43 (43) -1
Gilbert Baker (R) 44 (45)
Blanche Lincoln (D) 42 (43) -4
Curtis Coleman (R) 46 (46)
Bill Halter (D) 43 (44) +2
Curtis Coleman (R) 41 (43)
The changes from two weeks ago were minor, but all of them trended the same way: Lincoln lost ground on every single Republican, Halter gained ground on ever single Republican, and even leads one of them. As a result, Halter is a significantly better general election candidate for the Democrats. In fact, Halter is statistically tied with every Republican, as even the Boozman matchup is within the margin of error.
The likely GOP nominee is still Rep. Boozman, and Halter has already cut into that deficit; while Lincoln trails Boozman by 10, with zero chance to make up that deficit as a well-known and disliked incumbent, Halter still has plenty of room to make up ground. And against the 10-year DC incumbent congressman, Halter can run a populist, anti-DC campaign, the kind that will be getting the most traction this November.
Indeed, while Lincoln loses independents to Boozman 56-37, as well as losing 19 percent of Democrats, Halter keeps independents much closer, losing only 48-38, while only suffering the defection of 13 percent of Democrats.
Their favorabilities actually tell a good story:
Favorable/Unfavorable/No opinion among all voters
Lincoln (D) 41/54/5 (43/53/4)
Halter (D) 48/32/20 (47/30/23)
Boozman (R) 44/32/24 (45/31/24)
Halter is the most popular politician of the three. Lincoln is toxic.
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Bill Halter for Senate