Blanche Lincoln’s Political Tightrope

Eric Kleefeld summarizes some new polling out of Arkansas:

In a match-up against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who is not a candidate at this time but has been rumored as a possible [primary] challenger, Lincoln has only 42% support to Halter’s 26%. The margin of error is ±5%.

Democratic voters were also asked: “If Senator Blanche Lincoln joins a Republican filibuster of the Democratic health care reform plan, for whom would you vote for in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate if the choices were between Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter and U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln?” The answer here is Lincoln 37%, Halter 27%.Both Lincoln and the lesser-known Halter would be in for a tough race against the Republicans. Lincoln edges state Sen. Gilbert Baker by 42%-41%, while Baker leads Halter by 42%-34%. Lincoln is ahead of businessman Curtis Coleman by 44%-39%, while Coleman leads Halter by 40%-35%. Lincoln leads Tom Cox by 45%-31%, and Halter is ahead of Cox by 36%-32%. Lincoln leads state Sen. Kim Hendren by 46%-30%, and Halter leads Hendren by 36%-31%. The margin of error is ±4%.

One thing you can no for sure about general elections is that you definitely can’t win them unless you can win your primary first. Which is a reason why the conservative movement’s proven track record of mounting successful primary challenges does a lot to maintain party discipline, albeit at some cost. Progressives don’t really have such a track record, so I don’t know how credible incumbents feel this kind of threat is.