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Nate Silver


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.