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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.
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.

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.

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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger1968, slakn1

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:34:06 AM PST

  •  We can't repeat 2010 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rktect

    Nice diary. We need to be rid of LePage in the worst way. I'm afraid the ambitious Mr Cutler will make this a challenge again. We need a strong Dem like Chellie to run or endorse Cutler. Under no circumstances can we allow Mr LePage to continue to disgrace our state and continue his disasterous policies for four more years.
    Regarding Ms Collins, please dear, hang it up. Please.

    "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

    by badger1968 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:44:20 AM PST

  •  what is so great about Cutler? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rktect

    his whole campaign last time was just 'the Dems are too radical'. To my view he is just another corporatist backed by the same old big money interests. The Dems ran around like chicken little at the end, voting for Cutler only out of fear of LePage. I don't know anyone who thought he had a better vision for Maine.

    •  Maine has a somewhat elderly population (0+ / 0-)

      Their choice in candidates seems to begin with people who have a track record of having won elections in the past; Libby Mitchell had 40 years of participation in her resume but was a lazy take it for granted candidate much harmed by a bad 2008 convention and a lot of backstabbing in the primaries.

      Cutler is a Green and helped draft the Clean Air Act for  Muskee before joining the Office of Management and Budget under the Carter administration.

      I see him as picking off some progressive Democrats with issues like climate change, protecting fisheries from overfishing, and woodlands from acid rain plus some Independents who voted for King whom Cutler supported and some Republicans like Matthew Gagnon a Republican strategist who would rather see him running for governor taking votes from progressive Dems who were dissapointed in a too conservative Libby Mitchell than running against Collins whom he supports.

      I think with some help from Bonnie down in Owl's head  and in the fishing community generally Cutler could cut deeply into Collins base of support.

      Baldacci and Brennan are on Ben Grant's list along with Michaud and Pingree and various State Legislators, but name recognition sort of takes precedence and a lot of that comes from time in grade.

      King won over Cynthia Dill, who was a much better candidate, partly on name recognition alone but also with the help of Cutlers organization from the 2010 campaign, especially as regards signage.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:53:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maine will get what they deserve (0+ / 0-)

    If they split their votes and re-elect Le page. Either the democrats get a good candidate of just back Cutler.

    •  We don't deserve that (0+ / 0-)

      The latest redistricting basically puts the southern part of the state and its coast up through the midcoast  in district 1 (Chellie Pingree) and the great north woods in district 2 (Mike Michaud).

      We may end up with Cutler running again trying to establish a Green third party Naderizing some parts of the first district where his appeal is to progressive fishermen concerned about fisheries and some parts of the second district where his appeal is to people looking for jobs coming from the development of clean alternatives to logging for paper.

      Both Pingree and Michaud are excellent on the environment where Angus King, Libby Mitchell and Susan Collins would all be more pro business and development;
      especially as regards putting a 10 story oil terminal in Searport, on the boundary between the two districts, and a highway from there over to Canada similar to route 101 in NH.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:31:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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