The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

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Jun
08

ME: Today’s Vote – Blaine House Contest Wide Open

By · Jun, 08 2010

Absolutely no one is sure who will emerge today from the very crowded fields in Maine’s race for the Blaine House.

Public polling in the Pine Tree State has been virtually nonexistent. The limited glimpses into the state of the race show a muddled picture, to say the least.

Last week, the Maine Omnibus poll revealed that “Undecided” not only led the field, but trounced all candidates in both primary contests.  A whopping 61% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans remained undecided with less than two weeks to go until Election Day.

The biggest news from Maine came a month ago when Tea Party activists rejected the GOP party platform and replaced it with a much more conservative version. While Democrats are eager to make this an example of the extremism overtaking the state GOP, the guber wannabes have studiously avoided fully embracing the new platform while gingerly dancing around the most controversial planks. But let’s be honest, rarely do voters make their voting booth decisions on platforms, as most see them for what they are – nothing more than ideological “wish lists.”

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For a time there were nearly two dozen viable guber wannabes in the Pine Tree State, although the Democratic field now numbers four serious contenders while the Republicans count seven.

On the Republican side, former Red Sox owner and ski resort mogul Les Otten and Steve Abbott, a former staffer to US Senator Sue Collins, seem to be the two front-runners. Otten has been plagued by some “mini-scandals” in recent weeks while Abbott, as an advisor to the moderate Collins (who should be thankful she’s not facing primary voters this cycle), may find difficulty getting the support of Tea Party activists. Right-wing blogs haven’t been kind to either candidate, but it’s unclear the grass-roots based has gelled around any of the other candidates. Paul LePage or Peter Mills could conceivably be the winner at the end of the day. It may not take more than 25% of the vote to win, which makes GOTV efforts all that more important.

The Democratic field has winnowed in recent weeks down to four. Libby Mitchell’s long resume would make her the front-runner in a typical election year, but in this anti-incumbent atmosphere newcomer Rosa Scarcelli could harness voter discontent and win the Democratic nod.

Maine is no stranger to electing independents and there are three waiting in the wings to take on the major party nominees. One, Eliot Cutler could be a factor in determining which party wins the Blaine House in November.

The Blaine House

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