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Eliot Cutler's Political Future

Over at Down East, I take a look at second-place 2010 gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler's campaign to stay politically relevant and discuss his recent telephone town hall.

In that post, I mention that the event prompted an anticipatory front page story in the Portland Press Herald last week. A second article on the town hall made the paper's front page yesterday.

While it's obvious that Cutler is still looking for an opportunity to gain public office, it appears he won't be challenging Senator Olympia Snowe in 2012. In a recent interview with Roll Call, Cutler stated that he has "no desire to live in Washington" and has "been very clear in Maine I don't intend to leave the state." Cutler told the D.C. publication that a second attempt at the Blaine House in 2014 "depends on a lot of circumstances."

Click here for an mp3 of the No Labels conference call with Cutler and Crist.

Who bankrolled LePage?

Colin Woodard has the rundown.

Calling it for LePage

At the moment, the Bangor Daily News has Paul LePage with 188,789 votes and Eliot Cutler with 182,582. That's a lead of 6,207.

There are around 63 towns remaining that have not yet reported their results to the BDN.

If we take a look at the numbers these towns posted in 2006, when Baldacci won 38% of the vote to Woodcock's 30% statewide, these towns gave a cumulative advantage to Baldacci of only around 1500 votes (roughly 23,372 votes for Baldacci and 21,835 for Woodcock).

This race is much closer than eight points, so using Baldacci and Woodcock as stand-ins (despite the obvious differences between them and this year's candidates) is probably a best-case scenario for Cutler.

I don't see any way Cutler can erase LePage's lead in the precincts remaining in a much more Republican year than 2006.

Vampire Tracker

Quote of the day, from a Republican Journal piece on Mitchell's tour of Belfast:

When asked if he had come to Chase's specifically to catch up with Mitchell, the tracker offered a correction: "Not chase. Track. I'm tracking her."

No, Chase's Daily. The restaurant.

"Oh yeah," said the tracker. "Great restaurant.”

He had been at the church earlier, he said, but he didn’t want to bother the candidates there. "I don't step on holy ground," he said.

The Fetal Position

Go read this great piece by Kay Rand on the days leading up to the election of Angus King.

That Chicken Sound

Quote of the day, from WGAN's Ken Altshuler:

Paul has refused to come on the show since I had the audacity to ask him a question four times that he refused to answer. Gee, Paul, if you can’t stand the heat…What’s going to happen when you get challenged by a legislator? I hear that chicken sound ringing in my ears!


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."

LePage Gets Punchy

LePage on the set of MaineWatch, displaying his disgust for public radio reporters:


FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver has updated his prediction for the Maine gubernatorial race based on the latest PPP poll, but says the numbers likely don't tell the whole story.

There has not been much polling, on the other hand, in Maine, where a conservative Republican who has the support of the Tea Party, Paul LePage, is running against the Democrat Elizabeth Mitchell. But a new poll from Public Policy Polling gives Mr. LePage a 14-point advantage, which has improved his winning chances in our model from 60 percent to about 80 percent. This is one of those calls that I have a bit of doubt about: Maine can certainly elect moderate Republicans, like the Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, but it does not have much recent history of electing conservative ones. Still, the presence of an independent candidate in the race, Eliot Cutler, may be eating into Ms. Mitchell’s vote share, and Maine is an idiosyncratic and sometimes contrarian state. Mr. LePage probably does need to be considered the favorite, therefore, until and unless other polling firms weigh in and convey a different impression of the race.


I don't know why Paul LePage continues to state, and thinks he can get away with, weird little lies like this one.