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Independent Candidate Angus King Way Ahead In Maine Senate Race

Former Governor Angus King has a huge lead over his Republican and Democratic opponents in the race to replace Olympia Snowe:

A new WBUR poll shows former Maine Gov. Angus King as the heavy favorite to replace retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. Current poll numbers have King, who is running as an independent, with 50 percent of likely voters, Maine Secretary of State, Republican Charlie Summers, with 23 percent and Democratic State Sen. Cynthia Dill with 9 percent.

King, who served as governor of the state from 1995 to 2003, benefits from a large advantage in name recognition and a 60 percent favorability. By comparison, 71 percent of voters did not offer an opinion of Dill and 57 percent did not rate Summers.

In other news from the poll, President Obama has a 14 point lead over Mitt Romney in the state, a state he won by 17 points in 2008 and a referendum that would legalize same-sex marriage is leading 55% to 36%.

The numbers in the Senate race are likely to change at least a little bit as voters get to know the major party candidates better, but right now it’s hard to see King losing this race in November. When combined with what looks to be a tight battle for control of the Senate, this makes the Maine raise highly interesting if only because King has not yet said which party he would caucus with should he be elected to the Senate. In the end, the fate of the Senate could end up being in his hands.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    Since Mr. King will caucus with the Democrats in the Senate, isn’t it easy to say that Mr. King is really a Democrats and his election represents a seat moving from the Republicans to the Democrats.

    Also, is it safe to declare the Republicans dead in Maine or does the Republicans control of the state house for the next couple of years mean that the Republicans are still relevant?

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  2. Vast Variety says:

    The Democrats up there haven’t given their candidate a lot of support in hopes that he will caucus with them.

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  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    This is a tough one to handicap. Being in the minority party in the Senate sorta stinks. Would King voluntarily assign himself no real power? So at first glance the answer would appear to be that it’ll depend upon the head count after the election. Then again the national GOP is inept and Democrats brutally are ruthless and cunning. I definitely could envision King going with the Democrats, even if Romney wins, and even if caucusing with the Democrats leaves the Senate and King in a 50/50 power sharing state of limbo.

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  4. superdestroyer says:

    The two current “independents” in the Senate are actually Democrats. Does anyone believe that Mr. King will be different. My guess is that the Democrats will pay him off with good committee assignments to sweeten the deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Also, is it safe to declare the Republicans dead in Maine or does the Republicans control of the state house for the next couple of years mean that the Republicans are still relevant?

    The current governor of Maine, Paul LePage, is a Tea Party guy. So, unfortunately, Republicans are not dead in Maine.

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  6. Jeremy says:

    Guess that would make him a “Kingmaker,” huh?

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  7. al-Ameda says:

    The two current “independents” in the Senate are actually Democrats. Does anyone believe that Mr. King will be different. My guess is that the Democrats will pay him off with good committee assignments to sweeten the deal.

    I would hope that Democrats do that.
    There is no real reason for “independents” to be Republican these days.

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  8. Gromitt Gunn says:

    The LePage lesson has been learned well by the Maine Democratic Party. If King caucuses with the Republicans that is going to a huge shock to everyone, including the voters and his good friend, Dem. Congresswoman Pingree, who bowed out once he expressed interest. The current Dem candidate will only get votes from people too unengaged to realize that Angus is the Party’s actual choice.

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  9. Partly I hope he wins just so we have a Senator named Angus

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  10. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Does that mean that most “independents” support $4 trillion dollar budgets, open borders, and turning the U.S. into a third world country with a small patron class and a huge peon class.

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  11. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Does that mean that most “independents” support $4 trillion dollar budgets, open borders, and turning the U.S. into a third world country with a small patron class and a huge peon class.

    No, “Independents” do not support the Republican agenda.

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  12. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Then why are all of the independents going to vote for President Obama after he has added more to the national debt in four years than Bush added in 8 years?

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