CD2 Republican candidate Jason Levesque is on the air with the first TV ad of the race. According to his Facebook wall, the ad will be "running all week in some very key areas of the state," which likely means a short run, possibly just on cable.
Also, I think he's trying to hypnotize me with his eyes.
Cantankerous CD2 candidate John Frary has an ad running on Bangor-area cable. It's similar to this spot from his website, but cut slightly differently:
I'll let all the others talk about (hey, Kaplan's back!) the recent US Senate debates. I'd like to focus on the much more entertaining second district congressional debate between Congressman Mike Michaud and cantankerous Spanish-American War veteran John Frary.
The debate itself was thoroughly enjoyable to watch (assuming you didn't try to watch it on TV), mostly because both candidates seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Here are some highlights of Frary's enthusiastic rantings:
On a more serious note, the part of the debate I found most interesting was Mike Michaud's dance on abortion. Debate moderator Jennifer Rooks also took note and discussed it on MaineWatch the next day. Here's the clip:
Update: Frary's former employer, the Kennebec Journal, has no love for the professor, but he has gained some support from north of the border. Some writers for the Calgary-based libertarian publication Western Standard are big fans.
Another poll, this one by Critical Insights, shows big leads for Barack Obama and Susan Collins. Obama leads by 20 points in the contested second district and Collins is ahead in her race by 12 points statewide.
The poll also shows Congressman Mike Michaud beating Republican challenger John Frary 64-23. If this result holds, Frary may garner a smaller percentage of the vote than Laurence D'Amboise, who lost to Michaud 70-30 two years ago.
The poll also has Chellie Pingree beating Charlie Summers in CD1 by 21 points and the beverage tax repeal passing 48-39. The survey has a sample size of 443 likely voters and a margin of error of ±4.7%, 95 times out of 100.
The AP has some interesting reaction from the Allen campaign:
Carol Andrews, spokeswoman for Allen's campaign, said recent independent polls show "wildly erratic results typical of a pre-election environment." Another independent poll released this week gave Collins a lead of nearly 21 percentage points.
"We are unconcerned and undeterred as we know that we are making the case with Maine voters that if they seek change they have to vote for it, and they won't get it by voting with Susan Collins," Andrews said.
Rather than being erratic, I'd say the polling in this race has been remarkably consistent. Every poll taken since the campaign began has given Collins a large lead.
(hat tip: TMR)
Al Diamon ridicules the idea that Palin will connect with 2nd District voters on a cultural level in his syndicated column this week. He also tosses me a mention:
Liberal political blogger Mike Tipping expressed much the same sentiment in a posting on Downeast.com: "Several Republican strategists have said that despite her tarnished national brand, Sarah Palin will still have some cachet here in Maine where her moose hunting and snowmobile riding could connect with voters on a cultural level."
I think this is obvious from the quote, but just for the record, I was repeating the sentiments of others (Republican strategists) and not agreeing with them. I'm a proud citizen of the second district, and as I wrote on this blog at the time:
I don't think a McCain push in Maine will work. There are a lot of other states that we'd see turn around for him first before the second district was really at play for McCain, and a bad economy hits a lot of folks here harder than it does in the rest of the country.
I don't think the fact that Palin has hunted moose will magically sway Maine voters, and the idea that it will is rather insulting.
Also a must-read is Diamon's column from last week where he implies that the pro-casino folks are "power-hungry greedheads intent on despoiling all in their path for no reason other than that they have the resources to do so".
Second District Republican congressional candidate John Frary declared his support for legalizing marijuana during a rambling call-in show on Maine Public Radio yesterday.
Today, pro-pot activists have taken note. His race has made the front page of the websites of both 420 magazine and NORML. One commenter on the magazine's website declares "We need more people like this!"
Normally I'd have something to say about a development like this, but at this point the Frary campaign is its own self-parody.
The Bangor Daily News takes a look at the campaign of 2nd district Republican candidate John Frary and finds it "a confused message at best, and a vain attempt at comedy at worst."
Prof. Frary’s candidacy is not asking whether Rep. Michaud represents the 2nd District well. Instead, that candidacy stands as an indictment of the state Republican party.