I almost forgot - the Peter Mills campaign sent me a button the other day, and that necessitates a blog post before the polls close.
One of the more interesting things about the Mills campaign's material is the inclusion of a slogan: "It's Time," which could mean just about anything. According to Matt Gagnon, Mills has a very good chance of pulling out a win today.
The Mills campaign released a poll this morning showing (surprise!) their guy ahead.
The poll is by a new public opinion research firm called the Maine Center for Public Opinion and has a high sample size of 915 respondents.
Here are the results: Mills 22.1%, Otten 17%, Abbott 13.9%, LePage 10.7%, Beardsley 5.9%, Poliquin 4.9%, Jacobson 1.4%, unsure 24%.
In addition to the normal limitations of primary polls, polls paid for by campaigns and polls with large survey windows (this one is more than a week), there are a couple of decisions made by the pollsters here that may have affected the results:
First, they used a very tight voter screen - only registered Republicans with a strong voting history dating back two or three years were called. (Contrast this with Pan Atlantic's approach of apparently allowing respondents to self-identify as "likely" voters.) This screen may have missed some voters who are newly registered or newly energized to vote in this particularly primary.
Second, the question about candidate preference comes at the end of the poll, after a series of questions about Governor Baldacci, the economy, school district spending and the Tea Party. Any of these questions could influence how people think about the governor's race. Most pollsters looking for a clean response on the horse race question ask it first. For instance, people who have just been asked to consider whether or not the Tea Party is hurting the GOP might be more likely to choose a moderate like Mills.
Other parts of the process, from the question wording to the pre-weighting they did by geographic area to how their "virtual phone bank" works may also have affected the results.
The press release from the campaign implies that the firm has done other polls for them, including some earlier ones showing Mills behind. I'd be interested in seeing if their methodology has changed at all from poll to poll.
Here's the full memo:
Peter Mills has a series of new TV ads up on his YouTube page. Here's my favorite:
Someone from the Mills campaign calling themselves "Mills Web Geek" sent me the link along with a quick jab at Beardsley:
"Just for the record: not recorded on a camcorder and edited with iMovie ;)"
Quote of the day:
Judy DelFranco, a Senate employee, confirmed Mills has executed a headstand in the Senate chambers — and no other senator did. Whether any fellow senators could have, but chose not to, could not be determined.
From the Center for Public Interest Reporting's detailed examination of the Republican gubernatorial candidates' campaign biographies.
The first TV ad from the Peter Mills campaign begins airing today:
With the legislature's adjournment yesterday, the fight for the Blaine House now takes center stage. (photo via Peter Mills)
Republican Peter Mills today became the first gubernatorial candidate to claim to have met the requirements to run a publicly financed campaign under Maine's clean election system.
In a recent Sun Journal article, Mills said the main hurdle to qualifying as a clean elections candidate was not raising $40,000 in $100 seed money contributions, but collecting the 3,250 $5 contributions now required by the law.
Apparently, few of Mills' contributions came through the state website. The vast majority were instead gathered through the canvassing efforts of his team of "dozens and dozens" of volunteers.
Full announcement after the jump. Read more »
From an email sent by Peter Mills' campaign:
We're hearing Jobs Jobs Jobs from many aspiring politicians. I am greatly concerned that the candidates with no experience in the statehouse simply do not understand the state's role in job creation. While some may have hired employees in private enterprise these are not necessarily long-term jobs or the types of jobs with benefits that enhance the Maine way of life.
[...]We deserve ideas that can actually be accomplished from the governor's office, ones that will create sustainable jobs. I have the vision, determination, and experience to make this happen. Chanting "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" will not bring them here. Jobs aren't Beetlejuice, and this is real life -- not the movies.
Matthew Gagnon reports that Peter Mills has also withdrawn from the Portland City GOP gubernatorial forum (and sent a letter outlining his philosophical and strategical objections to the way the event has been organized) and that Paul LePage similarly does not plan to attend.
So for their $50 contribution, attendees can now look forward to the Bruce Poliquin Variety Hour.