Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln was defeated in her bid for a third term on Tuesday, giving Republicans a crucial boost in their bid to whittle away Democratic control of the Senate.
Lincoln, a centrist Democrat, was defeated by Republican Rep. John Boozman.
The Senate race in Arkansas was a showdown between a centrist Democrat and a Republican riding the GOP's wave of anger at Democratic incumbents and the Obama administration. Boozman attacked Lincoln on issues such as the health care insurance overhaul, increased government spending to stimulate the economy and the Wall Street regulation bill.
Lincoln, who reluctantly voted for Obama's health care insurance overhaul, carried the flag for Democrats but often disagreed with her more liberal colleagues. For example, she was one of the few Democrats to vote for the Bush administration tax cuts.
As a crucial vote in the Senate, she bargained for perks for her state before voting with the Democratic majority. She was disliked by some liberals and during the primary was targeted by unions, but she narrowly defeated Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a June runoff.
The general election was something of a family affair. When Lincoln returned to politics in 1998, she won her Senate seat by beating Fay Boozman, a state senator and the brother of John Boozman.