Lincoln Gets a Primary Challenger in Arkansas

March 01, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

For conservative Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), already struggling in her reelection bid this year, the news went from bad to worse today, as Arkansas’ popular Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) announced that he’ll be challenging her in the Democratic primary. Conservatives have been attacking Lincoln from the right for her vote in favor of the Democrats’ health care reform bill. The populist Halter poses a problem because he’ll be attacking from the left.

“Washington is broken,” Halter said in a video announcing his plans. “Bailing out Wall Street with no strings attached while leaving middle-class Arkansas taxpayers with the bill. Protecting insurance company profits instead of protecting patients and lowering health costs. Gridlock, bickering and partisan games while unemployment is at a 25-year high. Enough is enough.”

Liberal groups are already jumping in to help him. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee today launched a petition and a YouTube video calling Lincoln “one of the worst corporate Democrats in Washington.”

Even before this storm hit, Lincoln was facing a “toss up” in November, according to the Cook Political Report.