11:40 PM, Jun 8, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
"Incumbent wins!" National Review editor Rich Lowry jokes about Blanche Lincoln's surprise victory on Fox News's election coverage. Lowry's right, in a sense, it's not often that folks are so surprised by what was once expected in elections. But this year is different.
Incumbents aren't going to have such sway -- indeed, it could be hinderance for many candidates. And, in this run-off election in Arkansas, big labor with their big money bags suffered a big loss.
Ben Smith reports that a White House official called him with this startling message:
"Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toiled on a pointless exercise," the official said. "If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."
But it's more than just the money. It's a rejection of the ideas the unions are peddling. The unions wanted this election. Bill Halter, Lincoln's Democratic primary opponent, is for card check. Lincoln is not. Card check is the unions' signature issue.
This election is just weeks after big labor suffered another major loss. In Pennsylvania, big labor wanted Arlen Specter, offering money and institutional support. That didn't matter to the voters, who elected not to send Specter back to Washington.
Lots of mysteries, but here's one certainty. 1:55 PM, May 20, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
How did big labor do in Tuesday's election? Not well, in two words. So poorly, indeed, that even the New York Times picked up on this angle: "On the Democratic side, organized labor, which invested millions into the races in Pennsylvania and Arkansas, did not achieve a victory in either state," the paper reported.
Last night's election may be more complicated than you think.10:28 AM, May 19, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Well, Rand Paul trounced Trey Grayson, Mark Critz beat Tim Burns, and Joe Sestak defeated the longest-serving senator in Pennsylvania history, while Blanche Lincoln will face Bill Halter in a runoff election. Are these races connected? The first law of punditry says you have to find a theme. But every time I go searching for a theme, I come up short.
2:37 PM, Feb 4, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
If the president's dismal stats hold up, the GOP may be looking at two more Senate pick-ups. After presidential stumping in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts produced nothing but Democratic losses (and Kentucky basketball has its bone to pick, too), the president is headed out on the road for two more in-danger Dems.
11:20 AM, Feb 2, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The latest PPP poll shows Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln losing her Senate seat to Republican congressman John Boozman 33% to 56%. Obama's health care plan is approved by 30% of the state's voters.
1:21 PM, Jan 28, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Last night, between criticizing Supreme Court justices and insisting that Republican leadership is necessary for his Democratic supermajority to pass anything, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) says Obama forgot to chart a path forward:
"I think the president should have been more clear about a way forward on health care last night," Sen. Mary Landrieu told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday. "I'm hoping in the next week or two he will be, because that's what it's going to take if it's at all possible to get this done."
Bipartisan letter urges Holder to reverse course on KSM.1:23 PM, Jan 26, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In a letter to Eric Holder, Democratic senators Webb, Lincoln, and Lieberman join Republican senators Collins, McCain, and Graham in asking the attorney general to reverse course on his decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and his co-conspirators in civilian court in New York City:
To the exits.6:20 PM, Jan 15, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
The seven-termer is leaving the "greatest professional honor of [his] life," and leaving a "toss-up" race in his wake with high hopes for a GOP pick-up:
The Arkansas Democrat is the 11th member of his party to announce he will not seek re-election this November. House Republicans are dealing with 14 retirements so far, but more Democrats in competitive seats are vacating the House.
Senate races, by the numbers.5:41 PM, Jan 15, 2010 • By FRED BARNES
Republican takeover of the Senate is no longer impossible in 2010. If Scott Brown wins in the special election Tuesday for the Senate in Massachusetts, it would mean Republicans would have to net 10 seats to take control. If he loses, 11 would be needed.
'I find the caucus is a real disappointment.'1:35 PM, Jan 7, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
In an interview with the Pittsburgh newspaper, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), Arlen Specter's opponent in the Democratic primary, blamed Democrats for the plummeting popularity of the health-care bill.
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