Lincoln Beats Anger on the Left

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It appeared Lincoln's Washington clout and experience sealed the deal for some voters — a rare occurrence this election year, as Sens. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and Arlen Specter, D-Pa., lost their seats earlier this spring. So did U.S. Reps. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., and Parker Griffith, R-Ala.

"She's head of the Agriculture Committee, which is one of the most important committees we have in Washington," Lori Ritchie said after voting in the library of an elementary school west of Little Rock. "It's all about power and what committee you're on. It will take Halter eight to 11 years to get to the position Blanche is at now."

Halter, 49, a one-term lieutenant governor, is a former Clinton administration official, having served as a deputy commissioner and acting commissioner of the federal Social Security Administration. He was elected lieutenant governor in 2006 after briefly running for governor against Mike Beebe, who won the post.

Lincoln faces the tough task of wooing voters who were motivated to cast ballots for Halter, but indicated they might stay home in the fall. Melody Penning of Little Rock, who cast a ballot for Halter, said she'd be reluctant to back Lincoln because she sees the senator as an obstacle to a new direction the country took by electing Obama in 2008.

"As a country, we voted for change, but she just kept dragging her feet," Penning said.

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