by Max Brantley
Sen. Blanche Lincoln's keys to victory? Campaign manager Steve Patterson lays them out on the jump. They begin with a campaign swing Friday with Bill Clinton. Does he have sufficient one-day magic for a faltering campaign?
A better question remains her money. Many Lincoln supporters thought she could win without a runoff. She has a pile of cash on hand for the general election, but it can't be spent on the primary runoff. She had $3 million of the $8.6 million she'd raised left to spend on April 28, according to the FEC, but she blew through a chunk of that in the three weeks leading up to the first primary. She raised only $300,000 in April, but PACs are still pouring money in -- more than $100,000 in 48-hour reports filed May 21.
To: Interested Parties
From: Steve Patterson, Lincoln Campaign Manager
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Re: Lincoln Campaign's "Countdown to Victory"
Lincoln Campaign "full speed ahead"
With a Primary Election first-place win and passage of Sen. Lincoln's landmark financial reform bill in tow, the Lincoln campaign's "Countdown to Victory" tour is moving full speed ahead.
Sen. Lincoln will kick off the victory tour with President Clinton this Friday, May 28, at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. She'll be holding events across the state during the early voting period, June 1-7, and on Election Day, June 8.
On May 18, Arkansans Said "No" to Outsiders.
Sen. Lincoln fought off a two-month assault on her record by D.C. unions to emerge as the top vote getter in a three-person primary field. She has proven that her toughness and likability among Arkansas voters is not to be underestimated. Sen. Lincoln and her campaign are the battle-tested campaign moving into the next 14 days.
Her Primary Election first-place win demonstrates that Arkansans will not let D.C. unions buy this election. In a two-month span, D.C. unions poured $7 million into the state to attack Sen. Lincoln for Bill Halter's benefit. He was their top recruit this election cycle. Less than 24 hours after her Primary Election victory speech, in which she called for an end to negative campaigning, those same D.C. unions were back at it, pouring millions more in to attack ads running on TV and dispatching staff to Arkansas to campaign for Halter. Their efforts backfired on May 18 and they will backfire again June 8.
Arkansas columnist Pat Lynch makes that point in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette [5/24/2010]:
"Lincoln defeated Halter. Get this straight. Despite millions of outside special-interest dollars poured into the opponent's overflowing coffers, the incumbent got more votes. Yes, failing to win a majority, Lincoln is facing a runoff.
"Most of the time, this would constitute a fatal condition for the current office holder. This year, however, nobody can rightly predict where D.C. Morrison's voters will go, if the backers of a Democrat-in-name-only entity even bother to show up for the runoff. There is another more important factor in this equation, and it would tend to benefit Lincoln. Arkansans historically do not like outsiders messing with local elections.
"Halter could not defeat Lincoln despite vast and almost overwhelming financial backing from organized labor and a well-organized network of wealthy progressives residing comfortably someplace else. Just to be perfectly clear, I have frequently found myself in agreement with the outsiders supporting Halter on a wide variety of issues, but one must face the realities of geography.
"Halter has aligned himself with the very sort of people who many Arkansans find most suspicious. He has spent the largest portion of his working life someplace other than Arkansas, and his sole act of public policy is to propose a lottery that is being called into question on a number of fronts. Halter is weak in the runoff and probably unelectable in November.
"Organized labor was not in very good shape around these parts before the Halter candidacy and the current campaign just about guarantees permanent irrelevance. Labor unions have succeeded into transforming themselves into exactly the kind of monolithic, distant, greedy and power-hungry political zombies that opponents have always portrayed. Nice work, guys."
Runoff Election: All about turnout
Runoff elections are all about turnout, and Sen. Lincoln has the turnout advantage. The likeliest of runoff voters are Democratic activists, seniors and women, all of whom favor Sen. Lincoln.
Standing Up for Arkansas
Sen. Lincoln's record shows that she has stood up to the special interests, such as the Wall Street banks. Her landmark financial reform bill passed the Senate last Thursday, which in addition to changing the way Wall Street does business, protects Arkansas families saving for college, protects retirees' nest eggs, and ensures small businesses can get loans and create new jobs in Arkansas.
Arkansans know that Sen. Lincoln has stood up for them, and that's why they are standing with her.