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View Diary: Complete Analysis of the 2014 Senate Elections (134 comments)

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  •  All true in general on average, but, in this case: (1+ / 0-)
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    If Mainers voted “on the economy”, Collins would have lost in 2008.

    Civil liberties have been front and center in Maine politics in recent years, even before anyone had heard of Snowden. In 2012, the voters approved a marriage equality referendum.

    A “first-time candidate” is the only kind of Democrat that Collins hasn’t already beaten.

    Bellows has a variety of “campaign experience”, including as a public face of the winning marriage equality referendum.

    ACLU leadership experience indeed in most places and times is not usually a profile that attracts swing voters, but:

    1.    Maine is not an average place: for example, libertarianism is a bigger wild card in Maine’s small electorate than in most bigger and more urban states.

    2.    This is not an average time: The Snowden disclosures are big news, and they keep on coming.

    If a former state ACLU leader is ever going to get elected anywhere, this is the time and place for it.

    Collins’ success and potential vulnerability are not very complicated:
    Voters (even while increasingly voting for Democrats and Democratic policies) like her personality, constituent services and image of moderation.

    The only way she will be beaten is by a likable opponent persuading voters to doubt this image.  

    The current drumbeat of disclosures on surveillance abuse, and Collins’ comical and frightening ineffectiveness on the Senate Intelligence Committee, creates a relatively good opportunity to achieve this.

    Bellows might fail, like Collins’ three prior Democratic opponents, but Bellows is a very good candidate to try at this time.

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