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Election Day Display

The polls may have Maine going to Obama, but one Portland resident isn't going quietly, and put up this display earlier today:

McCain Not Coming

The McCain campaign has shot down Maine GOP Chairman Mark Ellis' recent statement.

McCain Coming Back to Maine

The AP reports:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain will make another swing into Maine before Election Day, state GOP officials said Wednesday.

Maine GOP Chairman Mark Ellis made the official announcement, but provided no details about the time and location of McCain's upcoming visit.

Maine's Joe the Plumber

Joe Champagne, President of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 716 speaks about next week's election. I'm pretty sure he actually has a license.

Via the Maine AFL-CIO blog.

Joe McCain's Phone Number

Not that I would, but if anyone wants to give John McCain's brother a call, you could run this audio file of Joe McCain being reprimanded by a Virginia police officer for calling 911 to complain about traffic (and swear at a dispatcher) through this online touch-tone frequency decoder and find his number.

New Poll: Collins at +11, Obama at +6 in CD2

A new WCSH-WLBZ/SurveyUSA poll of 642 likely or actual voters conducted on Sunday and Monday finds Allen gaining on Collins, but likely not quickly enough to win the election now less than two weeks away. Collins leads 54-43 in the survey, compared to 55-39 four weeks ago.

This survey has a higher sampling of Democrats than the previous poll (28% of whom say they're voting for Collins).

The one ray of sunlight for Allen is the 14% of respondents who report that they've already voted. Allen is winning this group by 5 points (with a higher margin of error).

In the same poll, Obama is winning the second CD by 6 and the first by a stunning 22 points. In the poll 4 weeks ago, Obama led by 5 points in both districts.

It looks like McCain's spending in CD2 and the Palin visit have kept it from being a blowout like southern Maine, but this result puts it squarely in the second tier of battleground states, which include Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.

In a testament to his campaign's early voting operation, Obama leads by 27 points among those who have already voted. The poll has a ± 3.9% margin of error.

Pan Atlantic SMS will also be releasing a poll later today.

No New McCain Spending in Maine

The New York Times reports that the McCain campaign is halting all new advertising in five states, including Maine, and will instead be stretching currently committed spending over the last two weeks of the campaign. The money saved will go to ad buys in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Indiana.

The RNC pulled out of Maine last week.

Looks like it's up to the Maine Republican Party to hold down the sleaze fort. The Press Herald reported today that they've sent out a flier which features a mugshot of William Ayers and the words "Terrorist. Radical. Friend of Obama."

Diamon Is Tired of Condescending Southerners

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".

Sarah Palin in Maine - Video

Click here for the full footage of Governor Palin's remarks at Bangor International Airport. The crowd has been estimated at between 2,000 and 5,000. Here's a clip with some highlights:

When John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan used the "city on a hill" line, they credited it to John Winthrop. When Palin says it she attributes it to Reagan. I wonder if she knows the historical and philosophical background of that quote, or anything about the genesis of the idea of American exceptionalism. I'm going to guess no.

Update: In other McCain campaign news, Meghan McCain, the presidential candidate's daughter, will be having lunch at my favorite restaurant in Orono tomorrow.

Palin Flies In, RNC Pulls Out

Governor Palin's rally in Bangor tomorrow has been taken as a sign that McCain thinks they can win the second district.

The RNC doesn't seem to agree, and has announced they'll be pulling their advertising from both Maine and Wisconsin in order to play defense in traditionally red states like Missouri and Indiana.

Maine was the only state in the country where the McCain campaign and the RNC outspent Obama last week. The vast majority of that spending came from the RNC.

One possible explanation for the strategic disconnect: Palin doesn't know where she is.