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Angus King
Get ready to get served an Angus King burger
Public Policy Polling (pdf). 3/2-4. Maine voters. MoE ±2.8% (±4.2% for Democratic sample, ±5.1% for Republican sample). (no trendlines):
Chellie Pingree (D): 31
Angus King (I): 36
Charlie Summers (R): 28
Undecided: 5

Chellie Pingree (D): 38
Eliot Cutler (I): 28
Charlie Summers (R): 30
Undecided:

Chellie Pingree (D): 49
Andrew Ian Dodge (I): 9
Charlie Summers (R): 33
Undecided:

Chellie Pingree (D): 53
Charlie Summers (R): 37
Undecided: 10

Chellie Pingree (D): 52
Rick Bennett (R): 39
Undecided: 9

Chellie Pingree (D): 51
Peter Cianchette (R): 39
Undecided: 9

Chellie Pingree (D): 53
Scott D'Amboise (R): 36
Undecided: 12

Chellie Pingree (D): 54
Bruce Poliquin (R): 33
Undecided: 12

Chellie Pingree (D): 53
Bill Schneider (R): 35
Undecided: 12

John Baldacci (D): 48
Charlie Summers (R): 39
Undecided: 13

John Baldacci (D): 43
Rick Bennett (R): 41
Undecided: 16

John Baldacci (D): 44
Peter Cianchette (R): 43
Undecided: 13

John Baldacci (D): 48
Scott D'Amboise (R): 36
Undecided: 16

John Baldacci (D): 50
Bruce Poliquin (R): 35
Undecided: 16

John Baldacci (D): 47
Bill Schneider (R): 36
Undecided: 17

Chellie Pingree (D): 52
John Baldacci (D): 28
Matt Dunlap (D): 11
Undecided: 10
Peter Cianchette (R): 21
Charlie Summers (R): 18
Scott D'Amboise (R): 10
Rick Bennett (R): 9
Bruce Poliquin (R): 8
Les Otten (R): 7
Deb Plowman (R): 4
Bill Schneider (R): 1
Undecided: 23
Whew! That's one exhaustive survey of Maine... and after all that, the situation following Olympia Snowe's surprise retirement is still about as clear as mud. For starters, we still don't know if Rep. Chellie Pingree, who was presumed to be the Dems' best bet here (and that's borne out by this poll) will run. Her statement after ex-Gov. Angus King's announcement yesterday was: "While I have been humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support encouraging me to run, I'm going to continue thinking very carefully about whether or not I should enter this race..." We at Daily Kos Elections have been privately wondering whether she's thinking it might be better to defer to the 68-year-old King (with whom she's friendly) for one term and then run in 2018... or if she was just waiting, like the rest of us, for this PPP poll to see how the numbers broke down for her.

At any rate, what we do know after yesterday's announcement by King and after seeing this poll, is that King (who served as an Independent as Maine's governor from 1995 to 2003) starts out with an advantage here. He has by far the highest favorables of anyone in the poll (62/24), and in the one of the many permutations tested where he shows up, he wins a three-way heat against Pingree and Republican SoS Charlie Summers (though all three are clumped close enough together that any of the three could win). Without more permutations, though, it's hard to tell just how big an advantage it is for King. For instance, if Pingree doesn't run, and ex-Gov. John Baldacci is the Dem standard-bearer, does that only increase King's share, or would that increase the Republican's share?

It's generally understood that King leans more left than right, though he's been coy about how he'll caucus if he were in the Senate, to the extent that he's suggested he might caucus with nobody (which would render him useless as a Senator, meaning that he couldn't be on committees, leaving him nothing to do but sit around and wait for roll call votes). We're lucky that Maine is a strongly Dem-leaning enough state that it can sustain two candidates who are left of the center mark and not have it fracture the field enough that it lets the Republican sneak through. When asked whether voters prefer that King caucus with the Dems or the GOP, 51% say Democrats, 25% say Republicans, and 23% aren't sure. (They got similar numbers for asking about Eliot Cutler, who cuts a similar profile as King and nearly won the 2010 gubernatorial race as an Independent, as a Senator (45 D/24 R). Cutler doesn't fare as well in a three-way as King, though, suggesting that King has some unique appeal to Mainers; and it's a moot point anyway, since Cutler has already endorsed King.)

A few other observations: one, there's a big electability gap between Pingree (who has 47/41 favorables) and ex-Gov. John Baldacci, who left office unpopular and remains so (37/52). There aren't any Baldacci/King/GOPer permutations, but Baldacci comes close to losing against a few of the more appealing Republicans in two-way heats, while Pingree tops 50% against all of them. Baldacci also trails Pingree significantly in the Dem primary; the question today, though, is whether Pingree reverses course with King's entry and leaves the Dem field to Baldacci. Considering how widely liked King is, and how little-known the GOPers are, I suspect that King, rather than the Republican, would pick up more of the support that falls off from Pingree to Baldacci. (In fact, that prospect seems a lot like the Rhode Island gubernatorial contest in 2010, where liberal indie Lincoln Chafee won over a little-known Republican, John Robitaille, with unappealing Dem Frank Caprio further back.)

And two, nobody knows who these Republicans are; Charlie Summers, the Secretary of State ("elected" by the legislature rather than the voters in Maine), as well as former state Senator and the loser of the 2008 ME-01 open seat race to Pingree, is the only one who more than half the sample knows, at 22/32. Summers also has the top remaining GOP score in the kitchen-sink primary poll, as Peter Cianchette (the 2002 gubernatorial loser) has already announced that he's not running. That isn't to say that Summers (or whoever else gets the GOP nod) doesn't have a shot here, thanks to the split of the left-of-center votes and the likelihood of getting better known as the campaign unfolds. But given that King and Pingree are so well-known and well-liked, they seem to start out in the #1 and #2 positions for now... and King could consolidate things even more if Pingree decides not to run.

11:20 AM PT: Here's another indication that King is a force to be reckoned with here -- Patty Murray, who's head of the DSCC, did not rule out the possibility that the DSCC would back King in the race. Murray denied having talked to King about the race (though the question, about rumors about whether she's asked Pingree to stand down, either wasn't asked or didn't get answered).


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MilesC, Nulwee, kkjohnson, wdrath, itskevin

    Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

    by David Jarman on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:10:51 AM PST

  •  Given King's popularity, I don't see him being (0+ / 0-)

    the spoiler. Pingree will probably finish second with the Republican back in third place.

    Progressive Dixiecrat. 19, LSU student, NC resident

    by MilesC on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:12:40 AM PST

  •  Angus King is the big dog in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico, Cederico

    the race. He's probably unbeatable.

    However, we don't know what he's been up to for the past ten years in private business. Perhaps Pingree should consider some careful vetting of King before getting out of the race. So should the DSCC.

    But if he's squeaky clean, and I suspect he is, perhaps it would be wise to simply convince him to caucus with the Dems upon election.

    •  He took a year long trip across country in an RV (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christopher Walker

      with his family. He documented a lot of it online.

      I can't remember the year, but I'd say about 2004/5.

      At the time I was working to get him to endorse a Utah wilderness bill, because he spoke highly of the national parks and scenic wonders he encountered on the trip.

      He declined to speak publicly in favor of the bill, though I think he could have been persuaded.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:47:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Asked PPP if Pingree would be able (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    to peel off Democratic support from King.

    Definitely if he won't commit to caucusing with Dems...not like she's that far back

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:20:27 AM PST

    •  This will be the tip-off I think... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inkpen

      If Pingree doesn't run, or no other top candidate Dem runs, than it would suggest DSCC has got private assurances from Gov King that he'll caucus with their side.  

    •  Did he mention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico

      Anything about the 27% of indies who want him to caucus Republican, or the 60% of GOPers who want him to caucus Republican, or the big numbers for both that are unsure?

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:46:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pingree statement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico

    I picture her walking backwards as she says that.

    "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

    by conspiracy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:26:10 AM PST

  •  Is it possible Murray was recruiting King... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Inkpen

    to run against Snowe and Snowe might have got wind of a serious challenge and retired instead.  I would have loved to see a King vs Snowe poll before she retired.  Did anybody do one of those ever?

    •  I doubt it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MilesC

      Snowe was very popular and King praised her yesterday.

      •  Praising her after she retired... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inkpen

        Would be different than praising her while she was still believed to be running for re-election.  Snowe has lurched hard right since Pres Obama has been in office and given the make-up of the state and King's indie credentials it would have been interesting to see King vs Snowe polling.  

        I doubt the possibility as well, but Murray hedging on Angus getting DSCC backing and dodging the possibility they'd ask Pingree to stand down makes me believe Murray might have had Young on her radar  - why would a long time Senator from Washington know the retired political players from Maine?

    •  Snowe retired because she actually (0+ / 0-)

      has grown tired of how the Senate has grown so partisan, albeit it mostly Republicans. But she was also very deeply hurt after being booed at the GOP Caucus in Lewiston a couple of weeks back. And then there is the investigation as to whether the Education Management Corporation (EDMC) defrauded the Fed - EDMC is run by her husband, Jock McKernan.

      Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

      by Spud1 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:51:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make the deal (9+ / 0-)

    No major Dem in return for King caucusing with the Dems.  Not the optimum choice, but we have to deal with what we have to deal with.

    Is King better than Pingree?  No.  Is he another Bernie Sanders?  No.  Is he another Joe Lieberman?  No.  Is he better than Olympia Snowe?  Yes.  Is he far better than any Republican running?  Yes.

    "We calmly accept our uncertain position." Joey Rathburn

    by Paleo on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:30:12 AM PST

  •  Cianchette has to feel a bit awkward (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico

    considering that he just turned down this race, but he could plausibly win the nomination and the seat if he ran.

    At the very least, i'd imagine that Cianchette should finish 2nd in polling in a Pingree/King/Cianchette matchup. And it's good for Baldacci's dignity that they didn't put King in any matchups with Baldacci

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:31:19 AM PST

    •  He probably realized that he could not gather (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slakn1

      2,000 signatures in 9 days, especially considering the state of the Maine GOP. The signature requirement will keep many from running.

      Snowe really stuck it to her own party on this.

      Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

      by Spud1 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:54:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Baldacci is going to have trouble getting the sig (0+ / 0-)

        natures in time too. There is one Dem in the race already, since last fall, former 4 term Secretary of State Matt Dunlap. He may have a lower profile than some of the others in the race but he is well respected for the job he did. One of his signature issues was instituting a pilot program for Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) also known as Ranked Choice Voting. Maine could have used this in the last gubernatorial race the the teabagger won with 38%.

        Matt doesn't get much respect in the media ( or this polling article) but he is a solid guy and could well beat Baldacci in a two way primary.

  •  King is beatable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, ChadmanFL

    Being an a governor and winning as an independent is totally different than serving in the US Senate as an independent.  As a US Senator, you have to caucus with one side or the other, in order to build up seniority and be able to accomplish things.  King can't just be coy about who he is going to caucus with.  If he can't make up his mind in the very near future, he will start to look wishy-washy and flaky.  Leadership is all about making decisions.   you can't run as an independent and be too timid to even say who you would caucus with.  If he is going to caucus with the Dems, why not run in their primary?  

    This will all boil down to whether or not Pingree is wanting to play hardball.  

    Also, if the GOP continues its war on women, Pingree will be in a great position to capitalize on this.  More women vote than men anyway.  

    •  He's 68 (0+ / 0-)

      He's not going to be building up much Seniority.  He's going to be junior even amongst the incoming class because former congressmen/women outrank former governors.

      The whole commitment thing is just overblown.  Look at his stances, look at his endorsements, look at his donations.  Do you really not know who he's going to caucus with?

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:43:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Forget it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inkpen

      If you think you can beat Angus King with negative ads, thats just crazy. Wont work. Furthermore, no Dems are gonna invest in that.

      •  It depends (0+ / 0-)

        He's going to have to take a stand on issues sooner or later.  If he goes along with the GOP on any of the big issues he's going to have trouble.  Many things he's been silent on from his years as Governor that you have to take a stand on in D.C. will have to be made clear by King.

  •  Constitutional Officers in Maine are elected (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, James Allen, David Jarman

    by the Legislature, not appointed. All three of them (Sec of State Summers, AG Bill Schneider, and Treasurer Bruce Poliquin) are circulating nomination petitions. Schneider appears to be the favorite of Snowe.

    But here's the deal, getting the required 2,000 signatures is a heavy lift for a candidate with no field team. And those signatures, while due to the Sec of State's office by 15 March, need first to be approved by town clerks. These clerks have five days to turn them around, so in practicality, the signatures need to be turned in on this Thursday.

    And yes - Summers will review all the petitions. He has made no public statement that he will recuse himself.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:41:14 AM PST

    •  I'm guessing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itskevin, Spud1

      you're a local, so, not just for my benefit but for that of the whole group, could you explain the semantics behind what "elected by the legislature" means? I've always assumed that the Gov. sent up a name and the legislature voted on them, no different from their usual advise and consent duties... but is it something else? I.e. do interested persons submit their applications directly to the legislature and actually campaign in front of them, or something like that?

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The legislative party caucuses nominate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David Jarman

        a candidate for each office, and then they are voted on by both chambers. The governor does not play a roll, although Gov. Paul LePage did endorse Bruce Poliquin for Treasurer - an unusual act.

        How the caucuses actually settle on a person I do not know, although it may be similar to how they elect officers of the House and Senate - using ranked choice voting.

        Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

        by Spud1 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:37:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And yes - I'm local, in Augusta all the time n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

        by Spud1 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:42:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  King supported Obama in 2008 (5+ / 0-)

    donated to him last year, and after the midterms in 2010, one of the worst times in his presidency, strongly defended Obama's accomplishments(although criticized his messaging).

    This doesnt seem like a guy who would caucus with the GOP, and he certainly seems like someone who would be a reliable Dem vote.

    I dont think it would be the worst thing if Pingree and Baldacci stepped aside/Dems endorsed him. DSCC probably would end up spending much less money, and get a reliable Dem vote.

    •  Voted for George W. Bush over Gore. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL

      I think he's learned his lesson, but I don't trust him.

      And I'd much, much rather see a woman senator.

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:45:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I said last night... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, James Allen, Inkpen

      If King were a Democrat posting those essays as DK diaries, he would be a netroots darling.

      Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:52:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I doubt he caucuses with the GOP too... (0+ / 0-)

      But that's really not the danger here, if we're going to back King as the de-facto Democrat, he needs to guarantee (in private of course) that he'll caucus with the Democrats and not try to pull some bullshit about refusing to caucus with anybody.

      Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

      by NMLib on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:53:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems to me if he refused to caucus with anybody (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SaoMagnifico, tommypaine

        Then that hurts him personally rather than Democrats. So long as he votes the right way on the floor, and the evidence I've seen suggests that is quite likely, then I don't see the problem.

        "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

        by conspiracy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:08:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  With the exception of a 49D/50R chamber (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaoMagnifico, Inkpen

          If he did let the Republicans have all committee chairs, he would hurt Democrats.

          Personally I'd expect him 99% likely to caucus with Dems, but not say it because it would hurt his support with Republicans.  Too many people want stuff "over" right this minute.  Far more likely than not, this will work out fine in the end.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:26:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm fairly certain the DSCC has already reached (3+ / 0-)

      a bargain with King. Although Murray denies talking to King over the weekend, Schumer admits to conversations with King. King also had multiple conversations with Tim Kaine. King is a native Virginian and he and Kaine are close. Murray did not deny talking with Pingree.

      King didn't just support Obama. He made substantial contributions to Mark Warner's Forward Together PAC, the League of Conservation Voters and Ted Kennedy's Committee for a Democratic Majority PAC.

      NRSC Rob Jesmer thinks this is a done deal and I suspect he is right.

      •  could you link to the Jesmer quote? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        26, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

        by okiedem on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:55:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Link Politico report & The Fix story (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.politico.com/...

          and this appeared in "The Fix" today:
          “This development adds a complicating factor for national Democratic Party strategists and adds fuel to growing rumors we heard from sources on the ground in Maine this weekend that the Democratic Party establishment in Washington is pressuring liberal Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree to step aside for the Independent former Governor,” Rob Jesmer, the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote in a memo Monday.

  •  The poll also did not (0+ / 0-)

    survey Rep. Pingree's daughter Hannah. She is 35, the former Speaker of the Maine House, and a force. It will be of interest were Chellie Pingree stay in her House race and Hannah run for Senate.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:43:34 AM PST

  •  I'll play wait and see on King (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico, politicalmetrics

    He seems to be a blank slate on many issues that he never had to take a stand on as Governor.  Overall I thought he souded like a Dem, but the statements his camp has thus far leave me scratching my head as to whom he'd caucus with.  If he won't commit to caucusing with Dems he needs to come out and say what specific issues he's with the GOP on so we know what we're dealing with here.

  •  King calls himself an Indie... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    Where does he break from Dem platfrom? What issues is he more Republican on? FP? Taxes? Social issues?

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      It's insanity to blindly jump behind a guy before we have the slightest idea about where he stands on a myriad of vitally important issues.  Where he stands on fighting povery and the middle-class and supporting health care reform and the safety net are my main concerns.  If he's not for those things he won't have my support, and I'm guessing the same with many Maine voters who right now say they'll vote for him.

      •  He seems like a Charlie Crist in my opinion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChadmanFL

        except it will be a little harder to get him to fall apart. The ambiguity with Angus King is ridiculous, but this whole thing is absurd and ridiculous to start with.

      •  They probably know his positions best (0+ / 0-)

        And still support him and have favorable views.  

        We know he's pretty green energy.  

        I'm sure if you search the internet, you can find his positions.  Here is a page that has links to some of his talks at Bowdoin, particularly healthcare states rights.

        You could probably also look at his history on issues as governor.  It's not like he's hiding stuff, or that the world has changed 100% in 10 years.

        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

        by rdw72777 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:14:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did look up his history on the issues (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          And there's little to nothing on many of them.  And I agree, a lot has changed in 10 years.  In those 10 years the GOP has moved FAR right.  If he can't come out and say he's won't caucus with McConnell and the baggers how are we supposed to take him seriously?  That idea should be rejected immediately.  The whole "independent" charade can only go on so long before a candidate has to actually say where they stand.  If and when he commits to defending the poor and middle-class I'll back him 100%.  Until then I can't see how anyone on the left, or even center-left can back this guy.  It borders on the bizarre how so many around here outright reject the idea of backing anyone but King given how muhc is actually know about him.

          •  Partience (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SaoMagnifico

            He just announced yesterday.  You'll have ample time to learn his positions and figure him out.  It's not like you live in Maine and/or the election is tomorrow.

            Mostly it seems like the choices are still available.  The race isn't over, it hasn't even started.  There's only 1 declared "major/impressive" candidate so far.  

            The fact you don't know much about him is okay at this point in time.  The fact that his positions are evolving over time might seem irksome, but they are definitely evolving to the left from what I can tell.  

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:38:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ive searched and Ive found all sorts positions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL

          and inconsistencies but regardless, I was not a fan on the civil liberties issue when he required the school employees to be finger printed by the state police, I was not a fan of his support for Enron-style energy trading. However, Im mostly not a fan of his, Im gonna caucus by myself, idea. He sounds like someone who is going to be impossible to work with and his statement last night did nothing to quash that notion. He is independent for a reason and will act that way. His support for Obama means nothings, 52% of independents supported Obama that year, look at what he was running against. The same applies to his support for Obama currently. Mostly, Im fed up with the chokehold this guy has over this senate race, he only has a 5 point lead, thats not exactly overwhelming.

          •  He also donated $1,000... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Christopher Walker, Inkpen

            To OFA last year and wrote that Democrats would have done better in 2010 if they had done a better job of selling what he described as impressive accomplishments while "fighting back" (his words) against Republican lies.

            Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

            by SaoMagnifico on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:45:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  he also supported Olympia Snow, he also supported (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChadmanFL, James Allen

              Chellie Pingree, he also supported Eliot Cutler, he also supported George W Bush, he also supported John Kerry, the guy is all over the place as far as Im concerned, I have heard over and over again he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA he donated $1,000 to OFA

              he doesnt like republicans but he clearly doesnt like democrats either.

              •  Maxed out to then-Sen. Obama in 2008, too. (0+ / 0-)

                Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

                by SaoMagnifico on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:54:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  So since his last GOP endorsement (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SaoMagnifico

                Of moderate Snowe, he's gone Obama-Cutler-Pingree with endorsements.  I'm just fine with that, he's an independent, if all he did was support Democrats I'd be more confused, not less.

                If since 2000 the only Republican he endorsed was Snowe, to me that's not a big deal.

                "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                by rdw72777 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:57:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  He also hasn't been in office for a long time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChadmanFL

        It makes him a real wild card. No one thinks that he's going to be a right-winger, but right now we know that he left the Democratic Party because of criticisms from the right and that he still refuses to call himself a Democrat. He may well have supported Obama's campaign in 2008 and yes he did give Obama money last year, but that still doesn't tell us how he'd act as a Senator.

        Which is exactly why we don't want to unilaterally disarm ourselves, it's why I'd rather have a credible Democrat in the race.

        Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

        by NMLib on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:59:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only disarmament (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaoMagnifico

          Seems to be self-imposed.  No one's keeping Pingree/Michaud/Baldacci et all from announcing except themselves.  

          That's what makes this so frustrating, Pingree is being as evasive as King; if you don't like King's supporting Snowe then Obama how can you support her sitting on the sidelines as Maine's political landscape is the center of the universe.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:02:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pingree may be getting screwed behind the scenes (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChadmanFL, NMLib, jmartin4s

            Murray's comments were not welcome, as far as I'm concerned.

            Political Director, Daily Kos

            by David Nir on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:07:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  She can't voluntarily semi-demure (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SaoMagnifico, LordMike

              Then expect the world to wait.  The only one delaying a Pingree candidacy is Pingree.  She could have gotten in at any time by making a full-scale announcement, especially once Michaud was out, but she chose not to.

              The actions of everyone else involved wouldn't have happened if Pingree did not allow them to happen by not being definitive and seeming wishy-washy in her decision to 100% commit to a run.

              This is a big deal.  unexpected or not she should at least know whether she wants to run for Senate, or would ever run in an open seat race.  Clearly she doesn't seem to know.

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:13:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I assume they mean she has said she won't run (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SaoMagnifico

              It's weird she hasn't said she would run yet.  It's hard to imagine now what she is waiting for.

              King is the equivalent of Tammy Baldwin.  She said she was in right away. She defined the turf of the race. The slowpokes were left out in the cold.

              Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

              by tommypaine on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:30:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Unless the decision has already been made (0+ / 0-)

              Murray isn't one to go rogue.

              "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

              by conspiracy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:46:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Oh goodness (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inkpen

          Why is nobody reading the things King has written at Bowdoin? He has not been coy about his political opinions. Why are people pretending like we have no way of knowing what his sympathies are?

          Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

          by SaoMagnifico on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:16:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He's liberal on social issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades

      Very progressive on the environment.  Probably more willing to cut a deficit deal than a lot of Democrats.  Don't know where he stands on foreign policy.

      "We calmly accept our uncertain position." Joey Rathburn

      by Paleo on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:13:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most I found on foreign policy... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin

        Is that he wants to encourage moderate Muslims to participate in society, opposes demonizing illegal immigrants with laws like SB 1070, and thinks stereotyping all Muslims as terrorists undermines us in Afghanistan.

        Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:37:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  None of those (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christopher Walker

      I would invite everyone to go read his contributing blog posts at the Bowdoin Daily Sun. Which I have done.

      Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:35:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He doesn't. Even when he left the party (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico, The Caped Composer

      to run against an ethically challenged Joseph Brennan, he continued to espouse the values enshrined in the Democratic platform. His son Angus King III worked in the Clinton White House.

      When he campaign for Obama in New Hampshire in 2008, he was a strong supporter of the Dream Act and very critical of McCain and other Republicans for abandoning support of what he called the only ethical stand possible.

      On social issues, King has taken a stand for marriage equality and he has been outspokenly pro choice.  Although he calls himself a fiscal consrevative, he has called the firm "no new taxes" stand of Republicans foolish and irresponsible.

  •  If Pingree doesn't run for Senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    and the DSCC says it will support King, then what does that say to the four Democrats that were willing to challenge Snowe before her unexpected announcement?

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:23:12 PM PST

  •  The other factor here for Pingree... (0+ / 0-)

    ... is whether she wants to hold out for a possible Collins retirement in 2014.

    Obviously, there's no guarantee Collins will retire. Pingree will probably have to weigh a three-way race this year against the possibility that this might be her last chance to run for the Senate.

  •  Maine/Nebraska (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    There was considerable talk here about Kerrey being too conservative for us to support in Nebraska, yet, we are supporting an independent here in Maine, which is a far more favorable place for us to put in a progressive Democrat.  

    I don't understand why everyone is so gaga over King.  I don't dislike him, but, for us to not put up the most progressive candidate here doesn't make sense.  If he is 68 years old, why waste our time.  If King is getting a lot of behind the scenes support, sure, he will run.  However, if the Dems said no to him, who knows.  

    Who is King going to work with anyway?  The political reports of late have been full of stories about the middle ground in the Senate leaving, with Snowe, Lieberman, and Nelson.  

    If Pingree doesn't get in, it would certainly make Michaud take another look.  

    The Republicans win because they aren't afraid to push for what they want.  We Dems need to learn from them.  The GOP must be laughing at us here, in that we are giving up a solid Dem seat.

    In Florida, Crist went independent and Rubio, an unknown, came from way behind to beat a sitting governor, after he chased the sitting governor out of the party.  

    •  The Republicans are only laughing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico, itskevin

      Because they think they have a shot at winning if the left is split.

      "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

      by conspiracy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:51:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who's gaga over King (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico, James Allen

      At most people here think he's okay, but nearly all of us would vastly prefer Pingree. The only reason that's at all in question is the fear that a Republican could take the seat if the center-left vote is split between King and a Democrat.

    •  who is this "we" who are already backing King (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico

      before we know who the Democratic candidate will be?

      Who here was saying that Kerrey was too conservative but that King is not?

      The premise of your comment is extremely weak.

      Who here is saying that we should back King over a progressive Democrat?  Who says that the Democrat who is eventually nominated is actually going to be to the left of King?

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 02:11:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChadmanFL

        What is being said here is that if King runs, no Dem, such as Pingree will even run against him, just some lower rung Dems.  In other words, the discussion is based around whether or not Dems should even put up a top tier candidate in Maine, and just support King instead.

        •  okay, so you won't answer my questions. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaoMagnifico

          Regardless, I think most people here are waiting to see what Chellie Pingree decides to do.

          I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

          by James Allen on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 02:26:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChadmanFL

            I realize that Rep. Pingree hasn't announced her intentions yet, but the thrust of the discussion has been whether or not any top tier Dem even runs against King.  Obviously we are all speculating.   But, the longer it takes Pingree to decide, the fewer alternatives there are, if, those alternatives are waiting for her to decide first.  

  •  my guess: he'll caucus with... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommypaine

    ...whomever the majority party is, in order to ensure maximum benefit for his constituents. And that's not really such a bad place for any independent to come from. If Republicans don't like the way he votes on some issues...well that's too bad for them since he'll have no obligation to them anyway.

  •  Pingree Comments to ME Newspaper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, Inkpen

    I haven't seen these posted here, but for those who enjoy reading tea leaves, Pingree made some comments to the Portland Press-Herald that suggest... she's about as unsure about this as any of us.

    Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree said today that she is still weighing whether to abandon her House seat to run for the Senate.

    A factor in her decision is whether a three-way general election race that includes her and King could split enough Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent votes to throw the race to a Republican.

    "You can imagine that people have been asking us all kinds of questions about that and we have enough experience in Maine with three-way races that I think it definitely adds a new dimension to the conversation about what to do here," Pingree said in an interview in her Capitol Hill office this afternoon. "That is the outcome I would not like to see."

    Alluding to the 2010 governor's race where Republican Paul LePage won a close election over Independent Eliot Cutler, with Democrat Libby Mitchell in third, Pingree said that, "Three way races are always really tricky."

    Pingree also said that giving up the 1st District House seat in southern Maine where she is the favorite to win a third term also factors into her decision now that King is in the race.

    "I am very lucky because I happen to have been able to serve in the House and I am in a good position to continue to do the work I do in the House so that's a lot to consider in a race that's gotten more complicated," Pingree said.

    Pingree said she might not decide for a few days. She was waiting to see a poll that was supposed to be completed tonight by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and gathering other information, Pingree said.

    "It's a big decision," Pingree said.

    Anyway, my reading is that she seems somewhat unlikely to run at this point, though there's enough wiggle room that she still might if she can be sure that the Republican is firmly in third.

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