The big election in Arkansas today is, of course, the run-off for the Democratic Senate nomination between Bill Halter and Blanche Llincoln. So far, Lincoln is up by about 4,000 votes, but only around 25 percent of the precincts have reported.
It seems to me that, in their first match-up a few weeks ago, Halter closed on Lincoln as the night went on, so perhaps Lincoln’s lead at this stage isn’t terrible news for Halter. If anyone knows, they aren’t telling me.
Meanwhile, we’ve been watching the Republican run-off in the Third Congressional District between Steve Womack and the candidate we prefer, Cecile Bledsoe. With about 15 percent of the precincts reporting, Bledsoe leads Womack by about 450 votes.
UPDATE: Bledsoe is now leading 52.5 to 47.5 with 25 percent of the precincts in. And the Senate run-off has tightened a little. Lincoln leads 51-49 with more than 45 percent of the precincts in. A little while ago, the margin was 52-48.
SECOND UPDATE: Lincoln’s lead is holding steady and now 63 percent of the precincts are counted. Bledsoe’s lead has expanded to seven percentage votes with about 35 percent of the precincts in.
FINAL UPDATE ON BLANCHE: It looks like she’s going to survive, at least for a few more months. With 80 percent of the vote in, she leads by 2.5 percent, and Politico has called the race. I guess I should have stood by my original prediction and my sense, after the initial primary, that the voters who had opted for neither Lincoln nor Halter would tend to break for Blanche.
This is a stinging defeat for the left, which poured its heart and soul (and an ungodly amount of money) into knocking off Lincoln. If the lefties at that convention in Washington were feeling down on Monday, imagine how they feel now.
It’s also a victory for Bill Clinton. The worse things seemed to get for Lincoln, the harder he fought. Good for him.
SADLY, HOWEVER: Steve Womack has overtaken Cecile Bledsoe. He leads 50.5 to 49.5 with three quarters of the precincts accounted for.
UPDATE: Womack expanded his lead as the remainder of the vote was counted, and he is the apparent winner.
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