The mysterious conservative Democrat that managed to pull in 13% of the vote in last night’s Arkansas Democratic Senate primary says he expects Sen. Blanche Lincoln will win the runoff — but she doesn’t have his vote. D.C. Morrison, who ran on a far-right platform that included abolishing the IRS and opposing abortion rights, told me this morning he won’t be endorsing anyone in the runoff and can’t predict what his voters will do when Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter meet again in the June 8 runoff.
“That’s hard for me to say,” he told me when I asked how he thought his voters would split in the runoff. “Down the middle, I guess.”
Morrison said “most” of his voters were “traditional Democrats who would never, ever vote Republican.” The same doesn’t go for Morrison however — he said he won’t vote for either Democrat in the runoff and will cast his own ballot for GOP nominee John Boozman in November.
Both candidates in the race, not surprisingly, would like to get their hands on Morrison’s Democratic voters. The runoff starts out at dead-heat, and both Democrats running June 8 need all the help they can get. Morrison said the Halter and Lincoln camps have reached out to him since the polls closed last night. But he said he told them both that he was staying out of the race.
“I don’t endorse either candidate,” he told me flatly. Morrison said that his voters will “vote for whomever they think the best candidate is.”
As for his own predictions, Morrison said he thinks Lincoln will win the runoff in a close race. He said he expects she’ll go on to beat Boozman in the general, too.
“The agricultural base will play out for her,” he predicted. He said that the voter makeup in Arkansas means that Lincoln will keep her seat in the fall if she wins the runoff, despite polls that show her trailing the Republican nominee.
As for the runoff, Morrison predicted Halter’s negative attacks on Lincoln will come back to haunt him. He acknowledged that both Lincoln and Halter ran negative ads, but he said “Halter’s campaign was just a little more negative.”
Morrison’s surprising performance in last night’s voting vastly outpaced expectations. Polling leading up to the primary vote showed Morrison pulling between 6-10% of the vote (of course, those same polls showed Halter trailing Lincoln by double digits in many cases and he ended up coming in less than 7,000 votes behind the incumbent.)
It’s fair to say most observers were surprised by Morrison’s total. The candidate himself is not.
“I thought I’d do a lot better,” he told me.