In a survey of coming election contests, columnist Gail Collins inserts a throwaway line on Arkansas’s Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate. It occurs to me that what she wrote might unwittingly get at the core of the incumbent’s troubles:

“I’ve been paying a disproportionate amount of attention to Republicans this election cycle, but it’s not my fault. Most of the Democratic primaries are incredibly boring. There are a couple of bitter battles, like the one Tuesday that will determine the fate of Senator Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. But it’s hard to combine the phrases “Senator Blanche Lincoln” and “really exciting story” in the same sentence. “

Lincoln has not been a showy member of Congress. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to have left her without the personal connection to many voters that has helped so many other famous Arkansas pols. It’s also easy — and a little lazy — to proclaim boredom with the process. This election will have profoundly different outcomes on a number of big-time issues depending on who wins. That could be exciting if you’re an investment banker, a person of great wealth, a poor person who needs health care, a union member, a corporate farmer and so on.