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News from the Votemaster            

Halter Leading Lincoln in Arkansas Primary Tomorrow     Permalink

Many important primaries will be held tomorrow. Let's start with the Arkansas Democratic senatorial primary, where Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is fighting for her political life against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D-AR). In the first round, Lincoln beat Halter by 2 points, but the most recent poll, by Research 2000, last week, gives Halter the edge, 49% to 45%. Lincoln has angered many on the left by her pro-corporate votes and Halter is exploiting this to the max. The unions and the blogosphere are pouring a lot of money and effort into this race as a warning to other Democrats that pro-corporation votes will have consequences. If Lincoln pulls it off, however, the message is that they don't.

Whitman and Fiorina Leading in California     Permalink

California has two marquee primaries tomorrow. The Republican gubernatorial primary looks like a done deal, with billionaire former eBay CEO Meg Whitman leading billionaire Steve Poizner by 51% to 25% in the most recent Field Poll. Whitman has spent $64 million of her own money so far on the race. If she wins the nomination, she will face a far tougher opponent than the unknown Poizner, former governor Jerry Brown (D). She'll probably end up dumping way north of $100 million this year if she wants to be competitive. Not too long along, $100 million was the stuff of national presidential campaigns. Recent polls put Brown about 4% ahead of Whitman.

The other big race is the Republican senatorial primary. Here, too, the woman in the race, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R), is pulling away from her male rivals and looks likely to win the nomination. If she does, that will set up a fierce contest with three-term senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Boxer has never faced a female Republican before and some Republican women who voted for her because they wanted a woman in the Senate may now desert her. On the other hand, Fiorina has a lot of baggage, such as outsourcing 20,000 high-paying jobs and being fired by the board of directors for incompetence. It could be close, but Boxer has a large warchest and is still the favorite in this very blue state.

Angle Getting Traction in Nevada     Permalink

In the Nevada Republican senatorial primary, former Republican state chairwoman Sue Lowden (R) was the (establishment) favorite from the beginning, but after a remark that people used to pay their medical bills by bringing the doctor a chicken, she has become something of a laughingstock. Tea party favorite Sharron Angle (R) has taken advantage of her demise and is now pulling ahead. The most recent poll shows Angle ahead of Lowden 32% to 24%, with Danny Tarkanian getting close to her at 23%. if Angle wins this, it will be a tea party victory as big as Rand Paul (R) knocking off Trey Grayson (R) in Kentucky. Only Kentucky is a very red state and probably any Republican can win it. Nevada is a swing state and just having an (R) after your name on the general election ballot is not enough to do the trick. No doubt Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is spending many hours a day praying for an Angle victory, since she would be by far the weakest candidate against him.

Another race in Nevada is the Republican gubernatorial primary, where incumbent governor Jim Gibbons (R-NV) is expected to be wiped out by Brian Sandoval (R). Sandoval will then Harry Reid's son, Rory Reid (D).

Other primaries are being held tomorrow in Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Virginia, but there are no top-tier battles in those states.

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