In the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel this week, I take a look at some recent maneuvering concerning the 2012 Senate race.
Snowe's announced Republican primary challengers, Andrew Ian Dodge and Scott D'Amboise, may not have what it takes to deny the senior senator her re-election, but there's plenty of time for a more credible opponent to emerge and there seems to be lots of local and national support available for a challenger's campaign.
At Down East earlier this week, I discussed Snowe's responses to a tea party questionnaire, which seems to be another example of her tacking rightward in an attempt to overcome a primary.
If the unlikely came to pass and Snowe was defeated for the 2012 GOP nomination, she would not be able to gain ballot status for the general election as an independent or third party candidate, as Joe Lieberman did in Connecticut in 2006. I believe she would, however, still be able to contest the election as a write-in candidate as Lisa Murkowski did, successfully, in Alaska last year.
As long expected, Maine Tea Party Patriots coordinator Andrew Ian Dodge has announced his intention to challenge Sen. Olympia Snowe in the Republican primary next year.
I wrote about Mr. Dodge earlier this winter at Newsweek.com, as he is perhaps the most visible figure in a Libertarian effort to fend off the Christian Right's growing influence in the Tea Party movement. Social issues, he argues, don't matter; getting government out of people's lives does. While no fan of Maine's Tea Party-backed governor, Paul LePage, Dodge is also hostile to Sen. Snowe, who he denounces as Republican In Name Only.
From an excellent Mother Jones article on Paul LePage:
"He expects the tea party to be his bitches and I'm not...they seem to think the more thuggish he is, the better he does," says Dodge of the Tea Party Patriots. "They don't understand there's a difference between running and governing."