In the last election Maine went pretty Blue with Marriage Equality and Marijuana passing easily but we still sent (I) Angus King to the Senate. He may caucus with the Democrats but he will never be as right on the issues as (D) Cynthia Dill would have been.
Maine's two districts sent representatives (D) Chellie Pingree and (D) Mike Michaud to the House where they ought to be sitting in safe Democratic seats for as long as they want them, but while Governor Le Page is widely viewed as a luxury the state can no longer afford, (R) Susan Collins has one of the safest Senate seats in the US .
On Thursday (I) Elliot Cutler filed paperwork with the Maine Ethics Commission to form a campaign committee, a move that will allow him to begin raising money for a possible Blaine House bid.
Cutler “doesn’t have a viable pathway to win the race, whereas a Democratic candidate will have a pathway to win, especially if it’s one of our top-tier candidates,” said Maine Democratic Party chairman Ben Grant.Despite Grant's statement, based on his showing against (D) Libby Mitchell in the last election for Governor, its likely that for some (I's) Cutler will still have strong appeal in our next election. Its taken for granted we need to get an extremely strong candidate out in front of him. On the other hand if we can do that and make it really clear he can't win, there is the possibility he could be talked into running against Collins.
If we can give Cutler good reason to run for the Senate rather than for Governor and if hes running against Collins rather than Michaud, Baldacci or Pingree how he does depends on which gubernatorial candidate could give him the most help.
If we could talk Chellie Pingree into leaving her safe House seat to run for Governor, and make the chances of Cutler winning Blair House so slim that he would consider running against Collins things could get interesting if the District I fishermen are in play.
Lets start with the conventional thinking from The Bangor Daily News
Mike Michaud, who represents Maine’s second district in Congress, is the strongest in all five of the three-way general election match-ups that were tested. In a race between Michaud, Gov. Paul LePage and Cutler, Michaud was within 4 points of beating LePage, and he had the governor receiving his lowest overall vote total of 34 percent.As Grant says in a three way Cutler can't win. Suppose its not a three way match up. How might Cutler be seduced into abandoning his mais de trois for a pas de deux? What kind of an edge could Democrats give him if he chose to run against Collins instead of Le Page.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, is within 6 points of beating LePage, but very interestingly she pushes Cutler to his lowest vote total among all other contenders (down to 23 percent).
And former Gov. John Baldacci, while a bit further behind LePage than the others, has the Democratic nomination locked up if he chooses to run (leads all comers by 7 percent or more).
But perhaps the most significant news in the poll is about Cutler. In a straight-up, head-to-head race against LePage, Cutler would receive the fewest votes of all the match-ups. Michaud would beat LePage by 21 percent; Baldacci would beat him by 15; Pingree would win by 13; but Cutler only leads by 8. More significantly, the three Democrats are all comfortably over the magical 50-percent line, while Cutler is held to 49 percent. That means that he can’t lose a single vote, and he needs undecided voters to come his way to win. The others do not.
Maine is in the process of organizing its redistricting, a subtle process but one which can still give a slight edge to some candidates over others. Elliot Cutler might for example do better amongst fishermen along the coast in District 1 than Libby Mitchell but nowhere near so well as Chellie Pingree. In a matchup against Susan Collins he might do much better if heavily Democratic Knox County backed him even if District 2 gives Michaud the edge.
Who decides all this? In the last election large numbers of people working for special interests like healthcare, education, marriage equality, and marijuana made a big difference. In this next election it could be you, and not just in Maine but wherever you are. If you go to the meetings, bring your potluck dinners, make your donations, forward your petitions, volunteer to organize, and to call and, to write, to canvas and fundraise, do your part, eventually you end up in the backroom deciding who is going to run for what, where the money is coming from, and what the payback is.