With all signs pointing to a Halter win -- and a Lincoln defeat -- in today's Democratic Senate run-off in Arkansas, organized labor and progressives, who have rallied around Halter, are already beginning to celebrate.
A Dem strategist with ties to labor emails First Read: "I believe Halter will win, and it should be seen as a huge victory for unions. As has been widely reported, this is no longer a race between Lincoln and Halter, but one between Lincoln and labor. The results though could be extremely close and should Lincoln pull it off, I would argue it is still a huge victory for labor... Yes, it is about Lincoln and her votes, but the unions that engaged in this fight were making a broader statement to Democrats: “If you abandon workers and basic Democratic values, what happened to Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas (of all places) can also happen to you.”
In addition, Accountability Now -- a liberal group co-founded by bloggers Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher -- has issued a press release taking credit for what is likely to happen in Arkansas. Said Greenwald: "We knew that building a coalition of unions, bloggers and grass-roots groups could convince potential challengers that they could mount a credible challenge and would thus be willing to incur the wrath of the Party and the White House. And we felt that the dynamic was more truly one of political insiders vs. outsiders. Regardless of party affiliation. What is happening in the Lincoln/Halter race is a testament to that."
Finally, in First Thoughts this morning, we asked if organized labor and the progressive community would work to help Halter in the general election if he wins tonight.
Replies AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale: "YES, with bells on."