Hey, Sen. Lincoln? It's starting to look difficult for you in 2010. Several potential challengers are running ahead of you in a recent poll. In fact, you're even running three points behind a teabagger. No, seriously. A teabagger.
State Senator Gilbert Baker runs best against Lincoln so far, beating her by eight points – 47% to 39%. Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, with eight percent (8%) undecided.That's gotta sting. But here's the thing.
State Senator Minority Leader Kim Hendren beats Lincoln 44% to 41%, with five percent (5%) favoring another candidate and 10% undecided.
Curtis Coleman, a private businessman with ties to former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, holds a 43% to 41% lead over the incumbent. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and 11% are undecided.
Just as close is Tom Cox, head of the Arkansas T.E.A. Party, who leads Lincoln 43% to 40%, with six percent (6%) favoring another candidate and 11% undecided.
Running farther to the right and selling your constituents out in favor of Blue Cross/Blue Shield won't help you win re-election in 2010. It won't make voters who don't like you vote for you, and it durn shure won't make the Republicans take it easy on you.
And as soon as it looks like your eventual GOP challenger has a real shot at taking you down, where do you think BC/BS is going to start placing its bets?
So, you know what you could do? You could decide to go all in on actually helping the residents of your state who are being held hostage by a company that controls 75 percent of the health insurance market. You could support a public option that will bring costs down, and you could make it clear that you will not, under any circumstances, support a Republican filibuster of a strong health reform bill. It would go a long way toward getting real reform moving toward final passage.
No, no, I understand. It's hard to support real reform when you're rolling in campaign cash from the health industry. But it would be the right thing to do. And showing the voters that you care about them might even give you a shot at beating back the Republicans and that teabagger (!) in 2010.