Matt Gagnon, who seems to be plugged in pretty well with Maine Republicans, has some interesting comments on the Pine Tree Politics Facebook page about the damage Paul LePage has done within his own party:
I have been getting unsolicited emails from Maine House candidates talking about distancing themselves from LePage, because when they do door to doors at Independent (...and even some Republican) households, his name is becoming a liability and people are asking all the wrong questions (is he really hostile to seniors? is he as paranoid as he sounds?).
I have been talking to two separate former GOP rivals of his who are so disillusioned to his constant mistakes and gaffes that they are considering un-endorsing him because they don't want to be associated with this crap.
The buzz is all bad buzz, and it is hurting him significantly. His commitment to ignore the media has just pissed them off and GUARANTEED bad coverage for himself - something that didn't have to happen.
Matt Gagnon has posted an as-yet-unconfirmed rumor that Democratic State Senator Lisa Marraché has decided not to pursue the Senate Presidency and to also drop her own campaign for re-election in District 25.
Susan Cover reports that a caucus will be held on June 30th to choose a replacement for Democratic District 21 Senate candidate Nancy Smith, who left the race after accepting a position as executive director of GrowSmart Maine.
Quote of the day:
"I'm obviously not exactly an impartial source in this because I give a lot more grief to Otten than I think an impartial person would,"
Matt Gagnon has conducted a fascinating survey of Republican anecdote and opinion on the gubernatorial race. It's long, but well worth the read.
Here's his best guess for probabilities of victory for each of the Republican candidates:
* Les Otten – 24%
* Steve Abbott – 20 %
* Peter Mills – 18%
* Bruce Poliquin – 15%
* Paul LePage – 10%
* Matt Jacobson – 10%
* Bill Beardsley – 3%
Matt Gagnon of Pine Tree Politics has taken on the Sisyphean task of writing his own detailed description of every one of Maine's 151 House Districts, starting with District 1. I wish him the best of luck (and humbly suggest that he might find the Citizen's Guide to be a useful companion in his effort).
Republican sources confirm what Matthew Gagnon is also reporting today - Senator Susan Collins' Chief of Staff Steve Abbott will soon enter the race for governor.
Apparently, Abbott has already made the decision to contest the GOP nomination and was quite open about his intentions while attending the Maine Heritage Policy Center event yesterday in South Portland.
Speculation that Abbott would make the race has been prevalent for more than a year and increased after Abbot sat down for a wide-ranging interview on WLBZ/WCSH last December.