Arkansas: Halter floods the zone in Lincoln territory
By Peter Slevin
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- With a cooler of water to beat the 90-degree heat and a cellphone to keep her entertained, Britnee Farmer was doing her part Tuesday to push Lt. Gov. Bill Halter past Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic runoff here.
Farmer, 18, said she was hired for $75 by the Halter campaign to plant herself for seven hours at a busy intersection in a largely African-American part of closely contested Pulaski County.
"A lot of people are honking and saying, 'Bill Halter!'" Farmer said. Asked her own views about Lincoln, the Senate Agriculture Committee chairman who is seeking a third term, Farmer answered, "She -- is it a she? -- I'm hearing more about him."
Three blocks away, Verta Edmond and Angela Scroggins sat beneath parasols across from a polling station. They held Lincoln signs and said their efforts in the sun were strictly volunteer.
"She seems to be on the up and up," Edmond, 66, said of Lincoln. "Honesty and somebody that's working for us and families on health care. I'm really for that."
"She's got the experience. She knows what's going on," Scroggins added, predicting that endorsements from the Democratic establishment are going to trump Halter's support from unions and liberal organizations that have targeted Lincoln.
Halter scheduled six events and Lincoln eight in populous Pulaski County during the 12 hours that polls are open. Lincoln's success here did much to preserve her two-point edge -- 44.5 percent to 42.5 percent -- over Halter in the May 18 primary.
A Lincoln campaign worker stopped by to deliver a postcard-sized handout that featured a photograph of President Obama warmly embracing Lincoln. It quoted his comment that Lincoln "took on big insurance companies...and fought for tax credits that will help thousands of local small businesses provide insurance to their employers."
As the man planted Lincoln yard signs, Obama's taped 30-second endorsement boomed over and over from speakers on his pickup truck.
Tuesday's winner faces Rep. John Boozman (R) in November.
June 8, 2010; 2:11 PM ET
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