Labor unions poured more than $5 million into Halter's candidacy as he slammed Lincoln for voting for the bailout for banks and opposing the Employee Free Choice Act or card check, which is a high priority for the labor movement.
Lincoln voted for the health care bill and touted that vote heavily in her television commercials. Halter, however, also supported Obama's health care plan and unlike Lincoln, he also backed the option of a government-run health insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, a more liberal option that was stripped from the health care bill in the Senate to garner the votes of moderate Democrats.
Voters interviewed by ABC News overwhelmingly demonstrated anti-Washington sentiment prevalent across the rest of the country.
"I think people generally are unhappy with how Congress as a whole has behaved and I think what we'll see nationally is a lot of incumbents will be voted out of office, regardless of what party they're in," said voter Roberta Monson.
Another voter Becky Dugan said she supported Lincoln but understood the frustration among her peers.
"I like the direction the country is going. I like that we're in the direction of taking care of people," she said, but many people are "just frustrated. And I think when the economy has a downturn and we get worried, that frustration is an expression of that worry. More worry. Fear."
In Kentucky, longtime Congressman Ron Paul's son, ophthalmologist Rand Paul, was declared the winner of the Republican Senate primary shortly after polls closed. With more than half of the precincts reporting, Paul had a wide lead over Grayson.
Fueled by grassroots momentum and his father's donor base, Paul was predicted to be a favorite since the beginning.
Whether he eventually wins the Senate seat will be an indication of the strength of the Tea Party movement.
"I have a message, a message from the Tea Party," Paul said in a speech to his supporters. "We've come to take our government back."
"Washington is horribly broken," he added. "I think we stand on a precipice. We are encountering a day of reckoning and this movement -- this Tea Part movement, is a message to Washington that we're unhappy and we want things done differently."
Grayson was backed by some of the most powerful Republicans in Washington, including former vice president Dick Cheney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who especially handpicked Grayson. But Paul, a rookie politician, has been a supporter of the Tea Party since its inception and also secured the support of another Tea Party favorite, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
McConnell congratulated Rand and promised to back him in the race against Democrats.
"Dr. Paul ran an outstanding campaign which clearly struck a chord with Kentucky voters and I congratulate him on his impressive victory," McConnell said in a statement. "Now Kentucky Republicans will unite in standing against the overreaching policies of the Obama administration. We are spiraling further into unsustainable debt and Kentucky needs Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate because he will work every day to stop this crippling agenda."
Outside polling stations today, Paul's supporters cheered and waved his signs.