Is the GOP prematurely picking favorites in the Arkansas senate
Commentary Staff Writer
11/24/09 3:51 PM EST
After the debacle in the NY-23 special election, Senator John
Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC),
announced, "We will not spend money in a contested primary."
However, it sure looks like the NRSC is throwing its weight around
in one of the most heavily contested senate primaries in the country.
Last week, Cornyn and three other heavyweight GOP senators --
McConnell, Grassley and Vitter -- held an NRSC fundraiser for Gilbert
Baker, an Arkansas state senator looking to challenge Blanche Lincoln
for her senate seat. David J. Sanders, an
Arkanasas political columnist, notes that when all is said and
done there could be a nine-way GOP senate primary in the state.
So why is the NRSC raising money for Baker? Making matters worse,
Baker is not an especially conservative candidate. Like a lot of
Arkansas Republicans he's in the Huckabee mold of being socially
conservative and somewhat economically liberal. Citizens First
Congress, a liberal group, rated Baker as having the most liberal
voting record of any Republican senator in the Arkansas legislature.
But Sen. Blanche Lincoln currently has a 27 percent approval rating in
her home state. "She's a dead woman walking," Sanders told me.
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