Monday, August 20, 2018

Maine U.S. Senate- Race of the Day

78 Days Until Election Day

Maine U.S. Senate

Status: Independent Democrat Incumbent
2016 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Democrat/Safe King

Out of all the statewide races this cycle, this one is most likely to see a major party nominee finish a very distant third, as most Democrats are by and large staying by the side of an incumbent Senator who insists on remaining an Independent.

Angus King is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate, at the age of 74 and after having been treated for prostate cancer. He is heavily favored to win and unlike the post-election circumstances of 2012 or 2014, there will be no doubt that he will caucus with the Democrats, whether they are in the minority or majority. King, makes no bones about leaning more left than right, which is also how he governed Maine during two terms as an Independent Governor from 1995 to 2003. Still, he is on record as having supported fellow Governor George W. Bush for President in 2000 and his Republican Maine Senate colleague Susan Collins for reelection. So, his fans will suggest he is far from a party hack, but for the most part he is a reliable vote for Democrats.

Apparently, the Maine Senate election will join the state's two Congressional Districts in being the first in American history to conduct an election under Ranked Choice Voting. However, it is unlikely to yield many surprises here and may not even be necessary, as King will probably surpass 50 percent initially.

Officially, Democrats have nominated teacher and education business founder Zak Ringelstein as their candidate. He is an unabashed liberal and has the support of several fellow liberal elected officials in the state who would prefer him to King and who likely think he could be elected statewide against a Republican on his own. His campaign will push the Ranked Choice system, saying that it would all but eliminate the possibility of electing a Republican via a split vote, hoping of course that he is picked first.

Republicans have not put up a top-tier competitor either. For a while, controversial outgoing Governor Paul LePage talked about running, which definitely would have put a lot more focus on this race. Then, his wife, First Lady Ann LePage, who apparently moonlights as a waitress, was asked by then White House Advisor Stephen Bannon to run for the seat. That did not come to pass either.

Eventually, one Republican decided to run and the party's nominee is State Senator Eric Brakey, who just the month become old enough to become a United States Senator. That probably will not matter though. Brakey was a staunch Ron Paul supporter and is active in the libertarian wing of the GOP, which has proven successful in helping LePage become Governor, but is very unlikely to pose much of a threat to Senator King. Still though, Brakey will likely easily surpass Ringelstein for second place.

U.S. Senate races predicted thus far: 
6 D (4 Safe, 1 Likely, 1 Tossup), 
2 R (2 Tossup)

Total with predictions thus far:
29 D (23 holdovers, 4 Safe, 1 Likely, 1 Tossup)
44 R (42 holdovers, 2 Tossup)


At 2:44 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

King should be able to carry the Dem nominee for Governor over the finish line.


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