Blanche Lincoln's Primary Challenger Raises $1M in 36 Hours
Many senators will go down in infamy as having played the role of roadblock on the path to comprehensive health care reform. Remember the fun Ben Nelson had as ringleader of the Gang of Six last year? Harry Reid's wavering indecision is, of course, another example of obstruction. Joe Lieberman! Mary Landrieu! OK, I could go on forever... and I've not yet named a single Republican. But Blanche Lincoln may be the first to experience real payback for her role in abandoning her Arkansan constituents. As we wrote earlier this week, her state's lieutenant governor, Bill Halter, has announced that he will challenge her in the Democratic primary this year. And now comes the news that in a mere 36 hours since Halter announced his candidacy, progressives have donated nearly $1 million to his nascent campaign. (According to Adam Green of BoldProgressives.org, the million-dollar mark will be crossed any second now.) MoveOn.org members have donated $854,000; PCCC/DFA members have given $61,000; and DailyKos readers have added $30,000 to Halter's campaign coffers. Lincoln should be shaking in her Capitol Hill heels. Polling shows that she is trailing Republican challengers by a large margin -- and adding a challenge from within her own party to the mix is only going to make things even harder for her. In his campaign announcement, Halter said, "In the end, I cannot stand by while jobs are shipped overseas, seniors are pushed to the brink and big banks and insurance companies get bailed out while Arkansans are left to pay for a mess we didn’t create. We know it is possible to stand up for Arkansas values and Arkansas families and get things done — because we have done it right here in our state." The wave of anti-incumbent sentiment has spread not only among the right (see: Tea Partiers), but it's reached the left, too. And that's a very good thing.