Of all of the primary results last night, the most interesting to me was Blanche Lincoln’s win in her effort to capture the Democratic nomination for Arkansas’s U.S. Senate seat against Bill Halter. Halter, who was favored by unions and liberal groups, appeared to have Lincoln on the ropes, but Lincoln’s push to the center, and her use of Bill Clinton as a campaign surrogate was enough to help her prevail. She still looks to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents around when it comes to the fall races, and Republicans are probably happy that they are able to take her on, since she will have to spend time consolidating the support of her liberal base, and since she has a record to attack. But her victory is quite notable regardless.
After all, at the end of the day, Lincoln’s victory represents a significant setback for labor unions, liberal groups, and the netroots, all of whom backed Halter. It also represents Bill Clinton’s partial revenge over pro-Obama forces; no one really thinks that the former President has forgotten Big Labor’s backing for Barack Obama during the 2008 battle for the Democratic nomination, do they? Finally, as noted in Ben Smith’s story, Big Labor blew through $10 million that it could have used to help preserve the House. If House Democratic losses are significant this fall, many will naturally look to Big Labor as a culprit in the debacle.