Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maine U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

Maine U.S. Senate

August 21, 2008
75 Days Until Election Day

Status: Republican Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Likely Republican

For some time now, Maine has been considered a liberal leaning New England state that is favorable to Democrats. However, the state has a tradition of being represented by moderate (some would say liberal) Republicans in the U.S. Senate and since she was first elected in 1996, Susan Collins has filled that mold.

Her first reelection campaign in 2002 was an easy victory and she has remained pretty popular in the state, although not perhaps reaching the levels of her senior colleague, Republican Olympia Snowe, who is basically a clone of Collins on almost all issues. In spite of this formidable political profile, Democrats have felt that they had a chance in this election year, where many believe that the Republican label on the ballot itself mgiht be considered "toxic."

The party attracted a strong candidate in Congressman Tom Allen who has served in the U.S. House for 14 years, representing the more liberal of Maine's two Congressional districts. Going into the race, Allen had significant name recognition and fundraising abilities to put together a strong challenge to the incumbent Senator. However, most polls on this matchup, going back to last year, showed that Collins was holding a big lead and already had the majority of support of her state's voters.

After Allen officially clinched his party's nomination in June, a couple Rasmussen reports this summer showed that he had cut into Collins' lead and was now only down by about seven points. Many political watchers from various spectrums began expecting a top-tier race after all. Nonetheless, a National Republican Senate Campaign Committee showed that Collins had as much as a 25 point lead, and most recently, the Rasmussen survey has her once again increasing her lead to 15 points.

Allen is a credible opponent and will do his dardest to try to tie the GOP Senator to the national party, but the voters do not seem to be buying it. Collins' reputation for independence, moderation, and constituent service are proving hard for Allen to tear into and while she may not be able to reach the heights of her past wins or that of Senator Snowe, this race certainly appears to be one that is likely to end with another term for Collins.

Collins campaign link:

2008 U.S. Senate races predicted: 5 D, 8 R
Predicted Senate balance of power thus far: 44 D, 34 R


At 3:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Andrews?


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