Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has no doubt been expecting a spirited challenge for her seat from Republicans in November. However, a spirited charge from within her own party heading into a May primary has forced her to spend on TV very early in the year.
Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is challenging her from the left, and has pledges of significant support from major union AFL-CIO and progressive organization MoveOn.org.
According to CQ Roll Call, Lincoln is not moving left to try to squeeze Halter into a corner, if the content of the advertising is any indication. Discussing bills in which she strayed from the congressional Democratic Party line, she says in the ad, “”None of those were right for Arkansas. Some in my party didn’t like it very much, but I approve this message because I don’t answer to my party, I answer to Arkansas.”
Republicans have been tripping over one another for a shot at Lincoln in November, and will be sorting their own situation out during the primary season. The Cook Political Report rates the battle for the Arkansas seat as a toss-up, and CQ Politics says it already leans toward the Republicans.
RBR-TVBR observation: Wow. It’s only early March, and the primary isn’t until 5/18/10. Advertising from candidates in both parties should be brisk between now and then. And after somewhat of a hiatus over the summer, it will all start up again in advance of November 3rd. Congratulations, Arkansas – you are officially a Senatorial double-dip battleground.