This week on Talk Business, prolific bloggers Jason Tolbert and Blake Rutherford offered assessments on the U.S. Senate primaries heating up in Arkansas.
Rutherford, a Democrat, said that the epic battle between incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln and challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, still favors Lincoln. However, Rutherford proclaimed momentum on Halter’s side.
“I think what we’ve seen from public polls is that while he (Halter) maintains a deficit, he’s on an upward trajectory,” said Rutherford. “His favorables are growing at a remarkable rate. It seems that the more voters learn about him, the more that they like.”
Rutherford also thinks that this year’s Senate election is a referendum on Blanche Lincoln, whether she wants it to be or not.
“This election is in many ways a referendum on Blanche Lincoln and she’s trying to make it a referendum on Bill Halter,” he said. “The polls would tell you is that the people need to hear more from Blanche Lincoln about her voting record. They need to hear more from Blanche Lincoln about why health care was good for Arkansas. They need to hear more from her about why the stimulus bill was good for Arkansas.”
Tolbert, a Republican blogger, said he expects the heat to ratchet up in the GOP Senate primary, which boasts 8 candidates.
Tolbert contends that 3rd District Cong. John Boozman is the front-runner in large part due to his strength in northwest Arkansas, where as much as 50% of the Republican primary vote will emerge.
“The thing that Boozman has in his favor is just geography. He’s going to have the 3rd District as his home-field advantage,” said Tolbert.
Tolbert also sees the race for second place shaping up between State Sen. Gilbert Baker and Jim Holt. Both of those candidates and others are jockeying for position to take on Boozman in a run-off.
“You’ve seen Gilbert Baker engage Rep. Boozman particularly on his vote on TARP,” said Tolbert. “Will it work? I’m not sure.”
You can watch the full interview at this link to our YouTube Channel.