Bill Halter came close but he didn’t make it. The Arkansas Lieutenant Governor lost narrowly in a runoff primary to Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, 48 to 52 percent, with 94 percent of precincts reporting. The four-point margin is very close to the difference in the primary a fortnight ago.

The incumbent Senator, who was plagued by charges she’s flip-flopped on the health-care public option and has supported wealthy special interests over her Arkansas constituents, called in the biggest gun possible in the last days of her campaign: former Pres. Bill Clinton. Halter countered with a great deal of support from unions and grassroots campaigners. Their anti-establishment efforts were frustrated by an unusual, last-minute shutdown of polling places in a county where Halter had been strong in May’s primary.

Lincoln will face Republican John Boozman in November.