Bill Halter

Broken Embrace

WASHINGTON—This week's primaries should have been good news for Democrats. Instead, a stray comment from an Obama aide briefly threatened a civil war in the Democratic Party, which needs all the unity it can get. The administration moved quickly to heal bad feelings that burst forth when an unnamed senior White House official disparaged organized labor's unsuccessful efforts to defeat Sen.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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You know the old saying that the fights in academia are so vicious because the stakes are so low? I thought of that when I read TPM's overview of the increasingly nasty battle between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter. They're tearing each other apart to obtain the Democratic nomination in an increasingly Republican state in a huge Republican year. 538 gives the Democrats an 8% chance of holding the seat. Is it really worth it?

Pittsburgh—Almost all the shibboleths of Washington conventional wisdom took a hit in Tuesday's voting. Yet advocates of a single national political narrative clung to the difficulties of two incumbent Democratic senators to keep spinning the same old tale. It's true that the idea of incumbents and party establishments being in trouble won some support from the defeat of Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary and Sen. Blanche Lincoln's failure to avoid a runoff in Arkansas. But the races tell different stories. Specter, a Republican-turned-Democrat who was defeated by Rep.

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Outside Right

WASHINGTON—This year's elections may exacerbate the difference between our two political parties, but not in the way most people are talking about. With incumbent Democratic Senators under threat in two more primaries on Tuesday, the conventional view is that Republicans and Democrats will emerge from this election more ideologically polarized than ever. Primaries will push Republicans to the right and Democrats to the left. That's only half true. Republicans will, indeed, end the year a more philosophically coherent right-wing party.

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Star Chamber

I didn't think anybody could make me feel sympathetic for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Nobody, that is, except Markos Moulitsas. From the Chamber's blog: Last Friday Markos Moulitsas, the Kos in DailyKos, put up a fundraising post titled "AR-Sen: Hell to Pay: Chamber-backed group runs racist ad against Bill Halter." After displaying the ad the bulk of the post starts with "The group running this ad is funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce..." Ok.

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Americans for Job Security is a corporate front group. It has spent millions on behalf of campaigns to repeal the estate tax and take down the Employee Free Choice Act. This week it unrolled a spot that can’t help but be described as racist. The ad targets Bill Halter, who is running in the Arkansas Democratic primary against Senator Blanche Lincoln. It features Indian actors—in Indian outfits, with Indian accents, with images of India behind them.

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