AR-Sen: Don’t Know Much About History

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    Just how poorly is Blanche Lincoln polling right now? Worse than any “true” incumbent in history.

    If Lincoln does little to improve her standing in the polls, she will be in the running for the worst showing of any true Senate incumbent in history (a “true” incumbent is a non-appointee who has served a full term). Only 13 true incumbents have ever been held below 40 percent of the vote, absent a third party effort, and only three have been held below 38 percent. Those three are:-William Hathaway of Maine, who lost to Republican William Cohen 56.6 percent to 33.9 percent in 1978

    -J. Glenn Beall of Maryland, who lost to Democrat Joseph D. Tydings 62.8 percent to 37.2 percent in 1964 (fun fact: J. Glenn Beall, Jr., is a top 10 loser, losing the same seat to Paul Sarbanes in 1976 by a 56.5 percent to 38.8 percent margin).

    -Homer T. Bone of Washington, who lost to Democrat Wesley Jones 60.6 percent to 32.7 percent in 1932.

    Lincoln, of course, registered a whopping 27 in the Rasmussen poll, putting her in the odd position of having a deficit that was 11 points larger than her total score.  Even if you discount the poll slightly because it is Rasmussen, Lincoln is almost certainly below 35 percent.  Her current RCP average (31), if it stands, will literally be the worst showing by a true incumbent (non-appointee who served a full term) ever.