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October 20, 2014

Posts in "Maine Senate"

September 28, 2012

Maine: DSCC Moves in With Ad Buy

Maine: DSCC Moves in With Ad Buy

National Democrats have bought TV time in Maine, ostensibly to help boost former Gov. Angus King, an Independent. (Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has bought $410,000 worth of television time in Maine, where a political triangle in the Senate race has created an unpredictable dynamic.

The DSCC ad was not immediately available, but the committee is likely to use the Oct. 2-12 buy to directly target Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R), who has been climbing in the polls in the race for the seat of retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R). The DSCC ad is not expected to mention either former Gov. Angus King (I), who is expected to caucus with Democrats, or state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee. King is the frontrunner but has seen his lead shrink in the past few weeks as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have spent money on advertising. Full story

September 24, 2012

Daily Ad Track

The biggest news in political ads over the weekend was a barrage of spots the National Republican Congressional Committee unleashed on a litany of Democrats around the country. Conversely, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee typically flags its media buys in a daily, piecemeal fashion.

Maine Senate

Former “Law & Order” star Sam Waterston followed through on his years-long crusade for moderates by appearing in a television spot for Independent former Gov. Angus King. According to a King spokeswoman, Waterston reached out to the campaign to offer help and the ad was shot in Maine. This spot has $50,000 behind it. Roll Call rates this race as Likely Independent.

Full story

September 21, 2012

Maine: Angus King Takes Drop in Polls in Stride

Updated 5:04 p.m. | The National Republican Senatorial Committee launched a new ad today against Maine Senate frontrunner Angus King (I), one of at least three outside groups that have gone negative on the two-term former governor.

But if the barrage of negative ads running against King bothers him, he did not reveal such feelings in an interview with Roll Call this afternoon.

“I’m a walking economic development project for Maine,” King joked, noting all the money coming into the Pine Tree State’s economy on behalf of outside groups trying to make sure he doesn’t win.

“They’re building a statue of me in the lobby of Channel 6,” King added, laughing, referring to the Portland, Maine, NBC affiliate.

But during a 20-minute discussion on his campaign, King admitted that the ads have had an effect and tightened his race with Republican Charlie Summers and Democrat Cynthia Dill to fill the open seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R).

“The polls have tightened,” he said. “I don’t think I’d be honest if I didn’t say people being pounded every night by being told that I’m a big spender or I blast mountain tops or whatever it is isn’t gonna have some impact.” Full story

September 19, 2012

Maine: Angus King’s Lead Narrows in Fresh Senate Race Polls

Maine: Angus King’s Lead Narrows in Fresh Senate Race Polls

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two new polls found former Gov. Angus King (I) leading his Democratic and Republican competitors, but by a smaller margin than he was before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched attack ads to undermine his Senate candidacy.

Both polls were done using robocalls to landlines only, a polling strategy that is not considered as accurate as using live interviewers to call cellphones and landlines. Still, the new data offer a revealing view into a race that is thought to be King’s to lose.

The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found King leading GOP nominee Charlie Summers by 8 points among likely voters. King got 43 percent to Summers’ 35 percent. Democratic nominee Cynthia Dill pulled 14 percent.

The nonpartisan Maine People’s Resource Center found King leading Summers by 16 points among registered voters. King took 44 percent to Summers’ 28 percent and Dill’s 15 percent. Full story

September 17, 2012

Maine: Democrat Rails On Sierra Club’s Support for Angus King

Maine: Democrat Rails On Sierra Clubs Support for Angus King

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Sierra Club is happy with Maine Independent Senate candidate Angus King, but not everyone is happy with the Sierra Club.

The environmental group announced earlier today that it was endorsing King. The move is not completely conventional. Statistically, the group tends to favor Democratic candidates, but the Sierra Club extensively cited King’s environmental work as governor in its logic for endorsing him.

And the Democrat in that race, state Sen. Cynthia Dill, let her displeasure be known in a press release today.

Full story

September 10, 2012

Maine: NRSC Sees Opening Against Frontrunner

Maine: NRSC Sees Opening Against Frontrunner

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee bought almost $600,000 in television time here, believing that popular former Gov. Angus King (I) is more vulnerable than the available polling suggests.

King is the frontrunner and is expected to caucus with the Democrats if he wins the Senate seat in November. But in a complex three-way race with Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R) and state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the NRSC senses opportunity. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has not invested in Dill, but Republicans say that if her numbers can be elevated, she and King might divide the vote of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, allowing Summers to win with a plurality.

The NRSC ad buy, which is built around that strategy, is scheduled to last two weeks, according to sources who monitor Maine ad spending. The news of the NRSC offensive was first reported by the Hotline. Full story

July 26, 2012

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hits the Airwaves in Five States

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hit the airwaves in Florida, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin with television ads targeting Democratic Senate candidates.

The chamber is also targeting independent Senate candidate former Gov. Angus King in Maine. The ads criticize the candidates on a range of issues, including support for the Affordable Care Act, proposals to increase taxes and votes on energy issues.

“With so much at stake in this election, the Chamber will continue to execute the largest voter education campaign in our history,” chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “We will support candidates who will fight for free enterprise and oppose those who consistently support more government and stand in the way of economic growth and job creation.”

Independent expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the chamber spent more than $5.3 million on ad buys and production costs for the series of spots. The group typically spends heavily to defeat Democratic candidates.

The chamber vowed to continue its efforts into the coming months in a press release. Full story

Maine: Chamber Goes After Angus King

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce began airing an ad this week against Maine Senate frontrunner Angus King (I), knocking him for his financial management of the Pine Tree State during his eight-year tenure as governor.

The Chamber backs Republican Charlie Summers, who faces an uphill battle for the open seat of retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R). The effectiveness of the ad in knocking down King — widely liked in Maine — will probably go a long way to determining whether national Republicans make a push for the seat at all this fall.

Full story

July 19, 2012

Maine Dem Nominee Cynthia Dill to Patty Murray: Help!

Maine Dem Nominee Cynthia Dill to Patty Murray: Help!

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call)

Maine state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee for Senate, penned a letter today to Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, asking for a meeting and an endorsement.

“With an open U.S. Senate seat at stake in Maine, we trust Democrats in Washington will act to preserve its ‘true blue’ majority by endorsing the candidate with the greatest respect for the Democratic Party and its platform,” Dill wrote. “With this historic opportunity to turn Maine’s red seat blue and ensure a progressive agenda this November, the DSCC must not abandon its principles and supporters.”

The DSCC has been absent from the Maine Senate race. Former Gov. Angus King (I), a prohibitive frontrunner in the open-seat race, is considered likely to caucus with Democrats. And in a race with a serious GOP candidate, any boost to the Democratic nominee could hurt King, a popular two-term former governor. Full story

July 11, 2012

Maine: Angus King Maintains Huge Lead in Senate Race

A new nonpartisan poll of the Maine Senate race shows former Gov. Angus King (I) with a very solid lead over his Republican and Democratic challengers.

In a horse-race matchup of likely voters, King led with 55 percent of those polled. Republican Charlie Summers took 27 percent, while Democrat Cynthia Dill took 7 percent. Nine percent didn’t know for whom they would vote.

Those numbers track with another nonpartisan poll from last month, which had King at 50 percent.

King is widely expected to caucus with Democrats if he wins, though he has not publicly announced which party he would caucus with, if any. Full story

June 18, 2012

Maine: Angus King Way Up in New Poll

Former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) topped a Pine Tree State Senate horserace matchup in a new poll released today.

In a survey of likely voters, King received 50 percent, GOP nominee Charlie Summers got 23 percent and Democratic nominee Cynthia Dill picked up just 9 percent. Seventeen percent of those polled didn’t know or were undecided.

King, elected to his first of two consecutive terms as governor in 1994, is highly regarded. A whopping 60 percent had a favorable impression of him while 21 percent had an unfavorable impression of him. Thirteen percent of those polled were undecided, and only 5 percent said they had never heard of him.

Full story

June 12, 2012

Maine: Charles Summers, Cynthia Dill Win Maine Primaries

Maine Secretary of State Charles Summers (R) and state Sen. Cynthia Dill (D) won their party primaries in Maine on Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press.

The two will go on to face the race frontrunner, Independent former Gov. Angus King, in the contest to replace retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe.

The Snowe retirement caught Republicans off guard and resulted in a short and scrambled primary. Low voter awareness of the race, a lack of television advertising and the short window made the GOP side highly unpredictable.

Summers defeated former state Senate President Rick Bennett and state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, with 29 percent of the vote, with 75 percent of precincts reporting.

On the Democratic side, Dill defeated former Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap by 44 percent to 37 percent. Dill and Dunlap were not blue-chip recruits. The A team of Democratic candidates avoided the race after King’s candidacy became clear. National Democrats paid scant attention to the primary.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Independent.

May 21, 2012

Maine: FreedomWorks Endorses Bruce Poliquin for Senate

Maine: FreedomWorks Endorses Bruce Poliquin for Senate

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin (R) today picked up an endorsement from the conservative group, FreedomWorks PAC.

It is an early indicator that he may be the next conservative Senate primary candidate that Washington, D.C.-based tea party groups coalesce around, although the window is narrowing. The primary is on June 12.

Full story

Study: Democrats Must Win Moderates to Hold Senate

In a study that could annoy Democrats and perturb proponents of the “base election” theory, a centrist Democratic think tank is arguing that its party’s hold on the Senate hinges on political “moderates.”

Third Way, in a report set for release today, asserts not only that ideological moderates will determine control of the Senate in November, but that Democrats need to win more of these voters in 10 states with tossup Senate contests than do the Republicans. The think tank crunched exit polling data from recent presidential and midterm elections and concluded that Democrats face a significant challenge in their bid to retain their thin, four-seat Senate majority.

“Crucially for Democrats, they must garner a majority of moderates in nine of 10 toss-ups to win, and in seven of those the bar is even higher — Democrats must clear 60 percent [of moderates] to win,” Third Way policy advisers Michelle Diggles and Lanae Erickson write in the think tank’s report.

Third Way classifies 10 Senate races as Tossup; Roll Call currently rates eight races as Tossup.

Full story

March 29, 2012

Conservative Senators Pick Sides in Texas, Missouri and Maine Primaries

Conservative Senators Pick Sides in Texas, Missouri and Maine Primaries

Sen. Tom Coburn endorsed Senate candidates in Texas and Missouri today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There were Senate endorsements galore in GOP circles today, with a few of the highest profile conservative Senators coming out in support of candidates locked in tough GOP primaries. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:

  • Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz picked up an endorsement from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Alluding to one of the most intense rivalries in college football (between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma), Coburn wrote in a statement, “Oklahoma and Texas may have our friendly rivalry, but when it comes to fighting for limited government, I’m proud to endorse my neighbor across the Red River.”
  • Along with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Coburn also gave his nod to businessman John Brunner, one of three contenders for the GOP nomination in the Missouri Senate race. ”John Brunner will be a force for fiscal conservatism in the U.S. Senate, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy,” Coburn said in a statement released by the Brunner campaign. Earlier this year, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) endorsed former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, another GOP contender hoping to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in November.
  • Finally, Lee backed Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin in the Pine Tree State’s GOP Senate primary. A source in the Poliquin camp told Roll Call that a statement is forthcoming.

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