Running scared | Arkansas Blog

Running scared

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Remember when sound trucks playing Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" rolled into towns to alert voters of the campaign visit of Blanche Lambert when she was in her first race for Congress? Another Roy Orbison tune, "Running Scared," comes to mind as now-U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln seeks re-election.

The old political cliche is that the only way to run is scared, particularly with fairly puny approval numbers. And the best way to run scared is by piling up money.

Sen. Lincoln has been doing that. She gets top-of-the-list billing among incumbents cited as a fundraising all-stars on Nate Silver's 538 blog.

1. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas ($1,722,483). Lincoln has always relied far more on corporate PAC contributions than most Senators, and that revenue stream appeared to be in full force in the first quarter of 2009. Perhaps this was because corporations were soliciting her opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, although Lincoln also received a small amount of donations from labor PACs like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Either way, this is an impressive fundraising total for a Senator from a relatively small state who has been considered a relatively safe bet for re-election. It may be exactly the sort of total that is intended to deter serious Republican (or Democratic?) opposition.

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