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By    |   Tuesday, 18 May 2010 04:14 PM EDT

Lincoln Forced into Runoff in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln has failed to win the majority of votes in the Democratic primary. She now faces a three-week fight with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter for her party's nomination.

Already one of the most vulnerable incumbents seeking re-election this year, Lincoln is headed toward a June 8 runoff with Halter — extending what's already been one of the most bitter and expensive political fights in Arkansas history.

Democrats Keep Murtha Seat in Pa.

An aide to the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha won a special election to fill the final months of his boss's term — a nationally watched contest considered a potential bellwether for this fall's midterm election.

In a tight race to the end, Mark Critz brushed back a strong challenge from Tim Burns, a Republican businessman. The GOP had hoped to catch the seat Murtha held for 36 years by playing off growing opposition to congressional Democrats, tea party-driven discontent and unhappiness with President Barack Obama's health care law

AP: Sestak Defeats Specter

Rep. Joe Sestak has knocked off five-term U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary, according to the AP.

Specter switched to the Democratic side of the aisle last year after casting the critical vote in the Recovery Act. But, many believed he switched parties because he would have lost a Republican primary against Pat Toomey.

Now it seems Specter was done anyway.

Sestak now faces off against Toomey for the right to replace Specter in the Senate.

AP: Sestak Leads Specter in Pa.

Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter fell behind in a struggle for political survival in Pennsylvania, a five-term incumbent offering experience to voters clamoring for change. Rep. Joe Sestak was leading Specter 53% to 47%

Another Democratic incumbent, Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, led narrowly in early returns in her race for nomination to a third term, but she risked being thrown into a run-off.

In a fourth race with national implications, Democrat Mark Critz moved ahead of Republican Tim Burns in a contest to fill out the final few months in the term of the late Rep. John Murtha in Pennsylvania. Each political party invested nearly $1 million in that contest and said the race to succeed the longtime Democratic lawmaker was something of a bellwether for the fall.

Sabato: Sestak Surging.

Noted University of Virginia political expert Larry Sabato tweeted late Tuesday night that Sestak appeared to be surging: "43% in, Sestak building lead, 52-48%, 213,000 to 197,000."

Rendell: Obama Probably Would Not Have Helped Specter

(CNN) - Some political observers have wondered why the White House opted not to send President Obama or Vice President Biden to Pennsylvania to campaign with Sen. Arlen Specter in the final weeks before Tuesday's Democratic Senate primary.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, offered one theory during an appearance on CNN's "Campbell Brown."

Asked about Obama's and Biden's notable absence from the Pennsylvania campaign trail in recent weeks, Rendell said it might be "because their last minute appearances in New Jersey and Virginia and Massachusetts didn't serve too much good."

Specter Tied with Sestak in Race Too Close to Call

Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak were tied at 50 percent in the Democratic Senate primary as of 9:35 p.m, with 32 percent reporting. The Associated Press and other outlets called the Republican primary for Pat Toomey, who led activist and perennial candidate Peg Luksik 78-22 percent. Democrat Mark Critz led Republican Tim Burns 58-39 percent in the special election to replace the late Rep. John Murtha, with just around 7 percent reporting.

Critz Takes Strong Lead in Race for Murtha Seat.

In PA-12, Democrat Mark Critz has taken a sizeable lead over Republican Tim Burns in the contest for the seat held by the late John Murtha. According to Hotline On Call, Critz is leading Burns 59% to 39%.

Lincoln Takes Early Lead in Ark. Dem. Primary.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln took a narrow lead over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a closely watched Democratic primary in Arkansas. With 1 percent of precincts reporting, Lincoln was leading Halter 48% to 40%, according to Fox News.

Sestak in Tight Race with Specter in Early Returns

With over 120,000 votes cast -- from about 14 percent of precincts reporting -- US Sen. Arlen Specter took an early but narrow lead over Rep. Joe Sestak in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary. Specter was leading 50.8% to 49.2%.

Critz Has Early Lead for Murtha Seat

PHILADELPHIA—A nationally watched special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha overshadowed potentially tricky primary challenges for a handful of House incumbents Tuesday as Democrats and Republicans sought victory to build momentum headed into this fall's congressional midterm election, according to the Associated Press.

Longtime Murtha aide Mark Critz looked to move into his boss' office and keep the seat held 36 years by Murtha in Democratic hands. Republicans pinned their hopes on businessman Tim Burns to flip the western Pennsylvania seat district their way and embolden dreams of taking control of Congress.

In very early returns Tuesday night, Critz had 68 % of the vote while Burns had 59.4%

Specter Leads Sestak in Early Returns

With less than 4 percent of precincts reporting, US Sen. Arlen Specter took an early lead over Rep. Joe Sestak in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary. Specter was leading 53% to 46%.

Paul Wins GOP Kentucky Nod in Major Test of Tea Party Clout

The Associated Press and CNN both projected Dr. Rand Paul as the winner Tuesday night in the race for the GOP nomination for the US Senate Seat in Kentucky

Dr. Rand Paul is leading Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the GOP primary race for the U.S. Senate 60% to 35% with 10 of 120 counties partially reporting, according to the Kentucky State Board of Elections.

Specter Prepares for Results

PHILADELPHIA — Only by having to maneuver around news trucks lining the block surrounding the Center City Sheraton would someone guess that something important was happening inside tonight.

This is where Sen. Arlen Specter, the longest-serving U.S. senator in Pennsylvania's history, could hold his final news conference as a candidate to keep the seat he has held since 1981.

Although the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate, Specter soon will learn whether he made the right decision by switching parties in April 2009 to give him a better chance at winning a sixth term

Roll Call: Specter Expects Seniority Back if He Wins

Embattled Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter asserted Tuesday afternoon that he had an “absolute commitment” from Majority Leader Harry Reid that his seniority would be restored at the start of the next Congress, assuming he survives Tuesday’s bruising Democratic primary and manages to win a sixth term in November.

Specter, who has been losing ground to Democratic challenger Rep. Joe Sestak in recent days according to numerous polls, made the comments on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on Tuesday afternoon, just hours before polls were set to close in Pennsylvania. The veteran lawmaker was stripped of his seniority status on committees last spring when — faced with the probability of a formidable Republican primary rematch against former Rep. Pat Toomey — he left the Republican Party to seek re-election as a Democrat.

Lincoln Forced to Cast Provisional Ballot

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.. had trouble voting Tuesday when she went to cast her primary ballot in Little Rock. The Hill reported.

The workers at Lincoln's polling location noted that she had already voted, according to CNN's Dana Bash.

It wasn't an attempt at Election Day trickery. The problem was that Lincoln and her husband had requested absentee ballots, which they hadn't filled out.

"Sen. Lincoln requested an absentee ballot in the event she would be called to Washington for critical votes," Lincoln campaign spokesman Katie Laning Niebaum said in a statement.


Lincoln Forced into Runoff in ArkansasLITTLE ROCK, Ark. Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln has failed to win the majority of votes in the Democratic primary. She now faces a three-week fight with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter for her party's nomination.Already one of the most...
Tuesday, 18 May 2010 04:14 PM
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