...Blanche Lincoln is officially done. According to the Real Clear Politics average, the Democratic Senator from Arkansas is trailing her Republican challenger, Congressman John Boozman, by more than 15 points.
Now, with the election less than a month away, Senator Lincoln is hitching her dwindling hopes to Bill Clinton, hoping for an electoral miracle. More from Scott Conroy and Erin McPike of RCP:
Lincoln's last hope is to harness the continued popularity of Arkansas' most-heralded political son, Bill Clinton.
On Wednesday, the Lincoln campaign released a new TV ad highlighting Clinton's appearance at a rally last month on Lincoln's behalf.
"But now Blanche's opponent is not saying much now, did you notice that? That's 'cause he's depending on you to be mad," Clinton says in the ad. "So he hopes that you will forget that he voted for a Republican budget to privatize Medicare--that since he first ran for Congress he said he would privatize Social Security. You've got a woman here who has produced for you over and over and over again, who never shuts the door, always thinks we can do better."
Some strategy. Your humble correspondent was in Arkansas this week, on the very day the Clinton ad debuted. Admittedly, our TV watching was limited, due to the birth of our latest grandchild. But we never saw the spot during some cursory channel surfing among the Little Rock stations. Either we missed it (a distinct possibility), or the "hype" surrounding the ad exceeds the actual buy.
Having spent millions in a bruising primary battle, Lincoln's campaign is low on cash heading into the home stretch. And, she's not getting much help from the national party; Democratic leaders wrote off Senator Lincoln months ago, sending money to candidates who still have a chance of winning.
And, this approach presumes that Bill Clinton still has enough popularity in his home state to help Ms. Lincoln close the gap. In reality, Mr. Clinton wore out his welcome in Arkansas years ago, one reason he decamped to New York at the end of his presidency. Clinton still has supporters among the local media and Democratic establishment, but the average Arkansan is more than happy that the one-time "boy wonder" has left the state.
Call it the last gasp of a failed campaign. Senator Lincoln sealed her fate with that vote for Obamacare. She'll pay the ultimate political price in November.