Posts Tagged: Maine

Oct 10

Is LePage In Trouble In Maine?

For Republican gubernatorial nominee Paul LePage (R), the last month has not been lacking in media exposure. The mayor of Waterville, whose recent controversial comments and actions have repeatedly made the rounds in both state and national media circles, finds himself in a suddenly tightening race, as recent poll numbers raise the question of whether his outspoken style is proving to be a liability.

A Tea Party favorite with a compelling personal narrative, the outspoken LePage surged to victory in a crowded Republican primary and began the general election in a good position, sporting an early lead over Democratic rival and former state House Speaker Libby Mitchell.

But in early Sept., video of LePage storming out of a press conference and addressing a reporter in profane language was widely covered, sparking criticism from opponents. Earlier this week, a new video emerged, in which LePage said he would tell Pres. Obama to “go to hell” if elected governor.

“As your governor, you’re going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page, saying ‘Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell,’” LePage told a group of fisherman at Republican forum on Sunday.

Opponents once again pounced on LePage’s comments. “Mr. LePage’s comments about the president and the threats he directed at a reporter have no place in this campaign or the state of Maine,” said Mitchell, in a statement.

“Am I politically correct all the time? No. Maybe it’s time to have people say bluntly what’s going on,” LePage told AP on Wednesday. “The fact of the matter is that I haven’t learned how to speak out of both sides of my mouth yet.”

Hotline On Call

Sep 10

Dead Heat in Maine

A new Critical Insights poll in Maine shows Libby Mitchell (D) edging Paul LePage (R) in the governor’s race, 30% to 29%, with another 14% going to three independent candidates and 26% undecided.

Two weeks ago, LePage held a 38% to 25% lead.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Sep 10

Maine: Muslim teen sets off chemical bomb near mosque — nothing to see here

Islamic leaders told police that the explosion was just a 13-year-old “experimenting.” What was the kid trying to do? “Teenager responsible for chemical bomb near Islamic Society of Portland,” by Helen Dailey for, September 22 (thanks to Joe):

PORTLAND, ME (NEWS CENTER) — Police say there were no injuries or damage caused by a chemical bomb that went off in a parking lot near the Islamic Society of Portland.

The bomb went off in the lot between the Islamic Society and Back Bay Grill around 8:00 PM Tuesday night. Portland Police say Islamic elders came forward to tell them that a 13 year old from the Society was experimenting and was responsible for the bomb. Another bomb was also found undetinated [sic]….

Just a young Muslim at a mosque experimenting with a bomb. In Maine. What’s to be concerned about? It isn’t as if mosques have ever been centers of violence elsewhere, right?

Jihad Watch

Sep 10

LePage Keeps Leads in Maine

A new Maine Poll finds Paul LePage (R) maintaining a sizable lead over Libby Mitchell (D) in the race for governor, 38% to 25%, with 21% still undecided and 16% for three other “unenrolled” candidates.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Sep 10

Maine Candidate Storms Out on Media

Washington Post: “Here’s how you know your press conference didn’t go so well: You abruptly cut it short and storm out. That’s what happened Monday to Paul LePage, the GOP nominee for governor in Maine.”

Of course, the episode was captured on video and shows LePage swearing to a reporter.

LePage later told WPFO-TV his day was an “absolute disaster.”

Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Sep 10

Maine candidate lashes out at reporters

Maine gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage had several confrontations with reporters Monday.

Maine gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage had several confrontations with reporters Monday.

(CNN) – What started as a media blitz to promote a new economic policy plan ended in a media headache for the Republican gubernatorial frontrunner in Maine Monday.

Paul LePage – a conservative candidate who surprised many with his primary win in June – lashed out at reporters Monday after he was asked about allegations of his wife’s tax problems.

At the last of three press conferences across the state, LePage angrily interrupted a reporter when he was asked about reports that his wife had improperly received property tax exemptions for homes in both Florida and Maine.

“Ok, let’s stop the bulls-, and let’s answer the questions the way they should be answered,” he said, according to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

The outburst came just a few hours after a stop in Bangor where LePage had expressed his frustration with the barrage of questions he was receiving about his wife before storming out.

“I will tell you. This is what I’m going to say, and I will not brig this up again. I am running for governor. Not my wife. I want to talk about the billion dollar shortfalls we have. And if you guys want to do the Enquirer, I’m not playing,” LePage said in video captured by WMTV.

The Bangor Daily News reports that LePage returned about two hours after the testy press conference to explain himself, telling the State House press corps that he is “overly protective” of his family.

LePage also told the Bangor Daily News that his wife splits her time between Maine and Florida, in part to help care for her mother, and she began receiving the Homestead exemption in both states due to an error that they are now working to fix.

LePage faces off against Democrat state Sen. Libby Mitchell in the general election.

CNN Political Ticker

Sep 10

Olympia Snowe Vulnerable To Conservative Challenge In Maine

If the Tea Party movement is still around in 2012, Maine’s Olympia Snowe could be in serious trouble in a primary:

Last November, right after she supported the health care bill in committee, we found that 59% of Maine Republicans wanted to replace Olympia Snowe with someone more conservative while only 31% said they would support her again in 2012.

The passage of 10 months hasn’t done much to soften the ill will toward Snowe with members of her own party. Now 63% of them say they would support a more conservative alternative with only 29% saying they’re committed to Snowe.

Moderate Republicans love Snowe. They give her a 70% approval rating and a strong majority say they’d vote to nominate her for another term. But those folks make up only 30% of the GOP electorate in Maine. It’s now dominated by conservatives and they’re particularly negative toward her, giving her just a 26% approval rating and saying by a 78-15 margin they’d like to trade her out for someone to the right.

When PPP first did this poll on Snowe in November many argued that there was no viable conservative who could challenge her in the primary. The success of the highly flawed Christine O’Donnell in Delaware may say something about whether insurgent Republicans actually need to be particularly good candidates on paper to get some momentum. But we did find that Snowe trails even a named Republican challenger, 2006 Gubernatorial nominee Chandler Woodcock, by a 38-33 margin in a hypothetical contest.

Ultimately Snowe’s issues come down to ideology. 64% of folks within her own party think she’s too liberal. Unless the Tea Party fervor really dies down between now and 2012 she sure doesn’t look likely to win nomination for another term as a Republican.

Snowe won her last campaign for re-election in 2006 by a 300,000 vote margin, but it would appear that Maine Republicans have followed the lead of their fellow Republicans in states like Alaska, Delaware, and New York and become heavily influenced by the Tea Party movement. If that continues two years from now, it’s entirely likely that Snowe would lose a nomination fight to a more conservative challenger.

Its worth noting that President Obama won Maine by 126,000 votes in 2008, while Snowe’s Republican colleague Susan Collins won her re-election bid that same year by more than 230,000 votes.

So, we’re looking at a state that has voted Democratic in every Presidential election since 1992, but which has enough of an independent streak that moderate Republicans like Collins and Snowe are able to win on a statewide basis.What that means if the Maine GOP nominates a more conservative candidate is something we’ll have to wait to see, but given the fact that Maine is likely to stay in Obama’s column in 2012, such a campaign would seem to face an uphill battle.

Of course, there are many things that could happen between now and 2012 that could change Snowe’s fortunes. The Tea Party movement itself could start to fade away as conservatives start to align themselves behind competing candidates for President. The economy could improve, thus dissipating much of the anger feeding the movement. Most obviously, though, poll numbers like this could cause Snowe to respond by either moving to the right or, more likely given Maine’s recent history of electing Independents statewide, she could decide that a bid for re-election freed from the GOP mantle would be in her best interests.

Whatever the case may be, these poll numbers are yet further evidence that the Tea Party movement has pushed the GOP base even further to the right. Whether that’s a good thing for the party’s long-term fortunes remains to be seen.

Full poll results here

Outside the Beltway

Sep 10

Maine newspaper covers Ramadan on 9/11, makes no mention of jihad terror attacks

At least the editor apologized. But the dhimmitude gallops on apace. “Maine newspaper apologizes for coverage of Ramadan on 9/11 without mention of terror attacks,” from the Associated Press, September 13 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The publisher of a Maine newspaper has apologized for giving Page One coverage to the end of Ramadan on Sept. 11 without mention of the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Saturday’s print edition of The Portland Press Herald featured a front-page photo of Muslims praying at the end of the Muslim holy month. It published coverage of events marking the anniversary of the terrorist attacks the next day.

Editor and publisher Richard Connor issued a front-page apology to readers who were offended….

Jihad Watch

Sep 10

Republican Leads for Maine Governor

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Maine shows Paul LePage (R) leading Libby Mitchell (D) in the race for governor, 43% to 29%, with independent Eliot Cutler at 11%.

“The thing drivings the GOP poll advantage in Maine are the same we’re seeing everywhere: a unified Republican base, a lack of interest from Democratic voters, a strong GOP lean with independents, and the specter of an unpopular Democratic President and Governor hanging over the heads of the party’s candidates.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Aug 10

Maine Tea Party Travel Guide to DC

While I’m in Maine, Maine Tea Party leaders are sending the following advice to Tea Partiers headed to DC to fight tyranny:

Many parts of DC are safe beyond the areas I will list here, but why chance it if you don’t know where you are?

If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don’t know where you are, so you should not explore them.

Five years ago I would have said definitively that the most terrifying thing about the Green/Yellow lines is the black people, but more recently this may be a caution against interacting with hipsters. But honestly this is bad advice. When visiting DC you might want to check out the baseball stadium, the many bars and clubs of U Street, the dining and shopping options of Columbia Heights, all of which are best-reached on the Green/Yellow lines. You can also take these lines to the vibrant Gallery Place / Chinatown station.

Matthew Yglesias