The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of the Arkansas Democratic Senate primary runoff shows incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln narrowly trailing her more liberal challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.
The numbers: Halter 47%, Lincoln 44%. The survey of likely voters has a 5% margin of error. A previous overnight snap poll that Research 2000 did for Democracy For America, conducted the night of the May 18 first-round primary, gave Halter an edge of 48%-46%.
The TPM Poll Average shows Halter ahead by 47.3%-44.7%.
Lincoln has been aggressively targeted by the liberal netroots and organized labor, largely for her opposition to the public option during the health care reform debates. She ultimately voted for the health care bill that passed in Congress and was signed into law by President Obama, which did not include a public option.
It should be noted that this poll has both Lincoln and Halter trailing the Republican nominee, Rep. John Boozman, who leads Lincoln by 58%-38% and Halter by 53%-42%. The survey of likely general election voters has a ±4% margin of error. The TPM Poll Average has Boozman ahead of of Lincoln by 59.4%-34.5%, and leading Halter by 55.8%-37.8%.
Kos, a big-time Halter supporter, points to the candidates’ favorability numbers to argue that Halter is the superior choice for Democrats. Lincoln’s statewide favorable rating is only 37%, with 58% unfavorable. Halter’s rating is 47%-37%, and Boozman’s is 52%-34%.
Kos writes: “If Lincoln wins, this seat is a guaranteed goner. No way she makes up that ground as an incumbent in a red state in an anti-incumbent year. She’s dead, dead, dead. If Halter wins, he should get his own boost, but he’ll certainly start the race as the underdog.”