ARKANSAS: “Senator Blanche Lincoln held off a strong challenge Tuesday from a fellow Democrat to prevail in the battle for the party’s Senate nomination, giving her a chance to win a third term in November,” the New York Times reports.
The paper adds: “It was the busiest primary day so far this year, a coast-to-coast series of contests that amplified many of the existing themes that have crystallized as the parties select their nominees for governor, the House and the Senate against a backdrop of high unemployment and a sullen economy. But the results also underscored the individuality of the midterm campaign and the unpredictability of the next five months.”
The Washington Post’s Dan Balz writes, “In a year of voter anger that has put incumbents in both parties on the defensive, Lincoln battled back against organized labor and progressive groups that had targeted her for defeat, salvaging her nomination for a third term.”
“'Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toiled on a pointless exercise,’ a White House official told Politico’s Ben Smith after the Arkansas race was called against labor-backed Bill Halter.
How Lincoln won, per the AP: "Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln survived a bruising Democratic runoff thanks to former President Bill Clinton's starpower and her argument that labor unions were trying to interfere in state politics." And here was the message: "I think this race became bigger than me and bigger than Bill Halter," Lincoln told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "It became about whether or not the people of Arkansas, who are great people, were going to continue to be hammered by special interest groups that simply wanted to manipulate them and their vote."
NEVADA: “After years of maneuvering, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got the race he wanted,” the Las Vegas Sun writes. “Sharron Angle, a former Reno assemblywoman and Tea Party favorite, emerged from Tuesday’s Republican primary, lifted to a landslide by a solid base of conservative supporters but carrying political baggage that experts say gives the embattled Reid a new lease on political life.”
Looking to the fall, the AP writes that last night was "the start of an epic showdown between a king of Capitol Hill and a conservative renegade who wants to turn Washington on end."
The Boston Globe points out that Angle "wants to scrap the Department of Education, phase out Social Security, and dump nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain."
SOUTH CAROLINA: “State Rep. Nikki Haley of Lexington fell just short of winning outright Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor,” The State writes. Haley and runner-up Gresham Barrett, “who previously have tussled in televised debates over who is the true conservative, will face off in a June 22 runoff unless Barrett concedes the race before then.”
The Washington Post has some fun facts on Haley, who with 49% could not avoid a runoff with Barrett, who got 21% of the primary vote: “This is not the first time Haley has upset her party's political establishment. In 2004, at age 32, she challenged state Rep. Larry Koon (R), a 30-year veteran and the state's longest-serving representative. Koon's family settled in the Lexington County district in the 1730s; Haley had lived there for five years.”