Thursday, Nov. 05, 2009

Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas)

The best test of the Obama effect may be found in the South, where Senator Blanche Lincoln, one of the dwindling number of Southern Democrats, is taking a hammering in public-opinion polls for supporting the President's health care and spending priorities. She polls close to her Republican challengers in hypothetical matchups, but that could ebb even further in the coming months as anti–federal spending furor continues to ramp up in Arkansas. (In August, Lincoln blundered when she called the people who disrupted the health care town-hall meetings "un-American"; she later apologized.) To make matters more concerning, Obama got just 39% of the vote in Arkansas in 2008, while Republican John McCain, with Sarah Palin on the ticket, pulled in 59%.