Bill Halter has maintained a narrow lead over Blanche Lincoln in the R2K/Daily Kos poll, shockingly one of the only pollsters surveying the runoff election. I find it puzzling that almost nobody polled this race leading up to the primary election, and nobody’s wading into it now. It’s a tough race to poll, because there are no restrictions on primary voters, making it tough to model the electorate. However, to vote in the runoff you had to have either voted in the primary on the Democratic side or not voted, cutting out everyone who voted in the Republican primary and at least narrowing things down a bit. Markos says that Halter has kept his lead, but turnout will be the key:
There hasn’t been much movement in the past week, but what little movement there has been appears to be in Halter’s favor. He’s now got a four point lead over Lincoln, virtually identical to his 3-point margin in our last poll, but he’s approaching the 50% threshold and Blanche Lincoln is running out of undecided voters to persuade.
With the run-off coming up this Tuesday (June 8) and voting preferences pretty much settled, it seems like the biggest question is whether Halter or Lincoln will have a better turnout operation. Much of that depends on the enthusiasm of each candidate’s supporters, and if Joe Sestak’s campaign in Pennsylvania is any indication, Bill Halter is in pretty good shape — as long as his supporters demonstrate their enthusiasm at the ballot box.
It’s worth noting that Halter beat everyone’s expectations in the first round, suggesting that he has a solid turnout operation and that his supporters are itching to vote. Lincoln is an incumbent at 45% the weekend before the election in a two-person race. That doesn’t look good, and I don’t see how having Bill Clinton tell voters that they’re easily manipulated improves her situation.
Garland County has a population well over 80,000 and will have two polling places (on Tuesday). Think about that.
This was a big Halter area.