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    What’s up with Maine Senate contest?

    What’s up with Maine Senate contest?

    I’m still having a lot of trouble figuring out the Maine Senate race, and whether there’s anything we can do to salvage the seat in a three-way race with the former Governor running as an independent apparently in the lead.

    Via Pine Tree Politics:

    The message from the Republican Party and Democratic Party could not have been more different Tuesday night.

    On the left, Democrats gave an overwhelming victory to the most ideologically extreme left wing candidate in the field. The very moderate, inoffensive and amicable Democrat in the race, Matt Dunlap, never had a chance and was defeated easily.

    Any primary, particularly one with low turnout, gives an edge to the extreme. Candidates who are able to capture the imagination of the most passionate, most intense voters (which happen to be the most likely ones to actually show up in the beginning of June to a polling place) are the ones who typically win. With Dill, this theory was proven.

    But this was not the case in the Republican primary. The most conservative contenders in the primary – Poliquin, Bennett, D’Amboise and Plowman – all lost, and the victor, Charlie Summers, is the most moderate, centrist and collaborative option the GOP had.

    And while Summers is undoubtedly more conservative than U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, he also has a much more realistic claim to the pragmatic independence Maine is so proud of than the anointed one, Angus King.

    This certainly throws a monkey wrench into the narrative driven by the Democrats for longer than I can remember that the Republicans are lunatic extremists and the Democrats are about the sensible center.

    So now that the dust has settled, what are we left with?

    The conventional wisdom is, of course, that Angus King is already a United States senator and that what happened on Tuesday was little more than a footnote in his eventual march to Washington.

    That could very well be true, but I think the particulars of this race now present a unique opportunity for King to be upset.

    More at the link.

    Help me out on this one.


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    SmokeVanThorn | June 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    There is this lingering misconception that Maine and NH are still rock ribbed, individualistic, conservative states – just ain’t true.

      Estragon in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | June 17, 2012 at 3:27 am

      Exactly. Immigration from Massachusetts has changed both states’ politics significantly. There was a time within my lifetime when Maine and NH were considered among the most dependably Republican and conservative states, but that time is long past now.

      King is just enough of a moderate to lose a lot of votes on the left to a more liberal candidate, so he may turn out to be vulnerable. Summers should run to the middle and conservatives should turn out for him. It’s too important a vote to let purity stand in the way of victory.

    Henry Hawkins | June 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    WAJ: “Help me out on this one.”

    Due to the cold climate, I attribute the politics of Maine to recurrent seasonal hypothermia among the citizenry, where the salient symptoms include sluggish thinking, mental confusion, and amnesia, which in turn lead to incoherent and irrational behaviors.

    To explain Florida, see ‘hyperthermia’.

    TrooperJohnSmith | June 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I read the comments at the Pine Tree Blog and have to wonder if there’s something in the wat-ah up there. What happened to the archetype solid, independent New Englander?

    Give that state to Canada in exchange for Alberta.

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