Tag Archives: Gov. Paul LePage

Ohio Senate, Maine Gubernatorial Races Tight

By Jim Ellis — June 3, 2022

Senate

Ohio: First Post Primary Poll Tight — The Ohio primary was May 3, and now we see the first public general election poll testing US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) and Republican best-selling author J.D. Vance. Suffolk University surveyed the Ohio electorate (May 22-24; 500 likely Ohio general election voters; live interview) and finds Vance jumping out to a slight three-point lead, 42-39 percent. The poll’s tight results is not unusual for an Ohio race, which typically are rated as toss-ups until the final two weeks.

In other questions, 42.6 percent of the respondents answered that either the economy or inflation was their most important issue, with abortion registering third at 11.6 percent. Even though he was leading the race, Vance’s favorability index was surprisingly upside down at 35:38 percent positive to negative. Rep. Ryan held a 40:23 percent positive ratio. President Biden fell to 39:56 percent. A total of 49 percent said they want to change the direction in which President Biden is leading the nation, while 24 percent said they want to support the President’s leadership.

Governor

Maine: Gov. Mills Holds Tepid Edge — Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D), who has seen her approval ratings drop from strong heights of late, still tops former Gov. Paul LePage (R) in a combined new statewide survey from Fabrizio Lee & Associates (R) and Impact Research (D) for AARP (May 10-13; 1,050 likely Maine voters with a representative sample of 500 likely voters; live interview & text), but the respondents have a sour outlook regarding the future. While Gov. Mills holds a 51-46 percent edge on the ballot test against ex-Gov. LePage, her lead drops to just one point, 44-43 percent, among those who say they are definitely committed to one of the candidates.

By a whopping margin of 18:82 percent, however, the respondents believe the country is on the wrong track. The state of Maine is also viewed negatively in a 43:56 percent ratio. President Biden’s job approval is upside-down at 45:54 percent. Gov. Mills’ job approval ratio barely remains in positive territory at 49:47 percent favorable to unfavorable.

House

MI-3: Rep. Meijer Trails in New Survey — Michigan freshman Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) fared poorly in redistricting, taking his Grand Rapids-anchored district from a R+9 rating according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization to a D+3 with 50 percent new territory. A new Public Policy Polling survey (May 25-26; 676 registered MI-3 voters; interactive voice response system) shows Rep. Meijer falling behind Democrat Hillary Scholten, his 2020 general election opponent, by a 39-37 percent clip. The change in district lines and the new partisan complexion certainly makes this result believable. The 2022 MI-3 race will be rated a toss-up with no clear favorite.

SC-1: GOP Primary Tightening — A new Trafalgar Group survey (May 26-29; 556 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; multiple data collection sources) sees the Republican primary challenge of former state representative and 2018 congressional nominee Katie Arrington coming within potential upset range of freshman Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston). The Trafalgar organization sees the race closing to 46-41 percent, which is much different than a Basswood Research poll taken around the same period (May 21-22; 400 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters). The latter poll found the congresswoman taking a commanding 44-24 percent lead. The South Carolina primary is scheduled for June 14.

Poliquin’s “Win” in Maine Likely a Loss

By Jim Ellis

Nov. 15, 2018 — Believing that Maine’s relatively new Ranked Choice Voting system will turn his current plurality re-election victory into a loss, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Oakland/Bangor) and three others are filing a federal lawsuit asking a judge to halt the instant run-off process before post-election counting begins.

With just a scant number of absentee votes remaining, Rep. Poliquin leads state Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) by an unofficial 1,910 votes and it is clear that he will finish the final count with a lead. The congressman’s vote total, however, is well below 50 percent meaning the instant run-off will occur.

With two leftward Independent candidates on the ballot attracting just under 24,000 votes, Golden is more likely to gain a substantial majority in the second- or third-ranked choice round, which would likely allow him to pass Poliquin and exceed the 50 percent mark. Thus, we are likely to see a situation where the candidate who placed first in the final general election count will not be awarded the office.

Pine Tree State voters adopted the controversial practice in what most observers believe was a reaction to Gov. Paul LePage (R) winning two statewide elections with less than majority support. In his first electoral contest (2010), LePage, then the mayor of Waterville, was elected governor in a three-way race with only 38 percent of the vote. Four years later, he was re-elected with 48 percent in another three-way campaign.

Independents are often credible candidates in Maine political campaigns and sometimes win those races as in the case of Sen. Angus King (I), for example.

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Still Counting . . .

By Jim Ellis

i-vote-i-countJune 21, 2018 — Even in the age of advanced technology, vote counting can be a surprisingly long process. Despite political primaries being conducted weeks ago in California (June 5) and Maine (June 12), as of this writing, election officials still have not determined a winner, or second general election qualifier, in at least three campaigns.

In California, the 48th Congressional District’s second general election qualifier remains undeclared. There, Democratic businessmen Harley Rouda and Hans Keirstead are fighting to determine which of the two will advance from a pool of 15 candidates challenging veteran Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa).

On election night, Rohrabacher clinched first place with 30.3 percent of the vote over the field of 15, while Rouda placed second. With the California process being notoriously slow because of the large number of mail ballots that must be counted and are allowed to be postmarked the day of the election and received through that following Friday, it appeared evident that the substantial number of outstanding votes could well change the outcome for the second place qualifier. Hence, the abnormally long post-election process began.

Today, the official count, though still not complete, now finds Rouda re-capturing second place, this time by a scant 69 votes of the more than 173,000 votes cast, counted, and recorded district-wide, and the 57,285 ballots divided only between Rouda and Keirstead.

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Maine’s Instant Run-Off Examined

By Jim Ellis

MAINEJune 15, 2018 — An interesting situation is developing from the still-in-progress Maine primary that could become a test case for either changing or instituting state run-off electoral systems.

As you know, run-offs ensure that a party nominee obtains a majority or, in the case of North Carolina and South Dakota, a substantial share of the vote. The run-off’s purpose is to prevent a party from nominating a winner in a multi-candidate election who garners only a small plurality.

The South Carolina 4th Congressional District race is a good example of why some states choose a run-off format. On Tuesday, both parties advanced a pair of candidates into respective run-off elections because no one came close to receiving majority support.

For the Republicans, with 13 candidates running to succeed retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-Spartanburg), former state Sen. Lee Bright finished first, but with only 25 percent of the vote. In most other states, he would have been nominated. Since, 75 percent of the Republican voters chose another candidate, the run-off ensues. On June 26, Bright and state Sen. William Timmons (R-Greenville), who finished second with 19.2 percent, will decide the party nomination in one-on-one electoral competition. On the Democratic side, candidates Doris Lee Turner (29.4 percent) and Brandon Brown (28.5 percent) advance, while Eric Graben (25.7 percent), Will Morin (9.1 percent), and J.T. Davis (7.2 percent) are eliminated.

Maine is testing a unique new system that prevents situations such as their own that occurred in the past two gubernatorial elections, but avoids the cost of holding another separate election. Political observers will now see if their new idea will work and potentially withstand a legal challenge.

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Looking at the Governors’ Races

2018-gubernatorial-elections

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 25, 2018 — Earlier this month, we set the stage for the Senate and House campaigns. Today, we look at another important election platform, that of the nation’s governors. Though these races will elect people who will obviously determine future individual state policy, most of the 2018 gubernatorial winners will carry redistricting veto power in 2021. Therefore, these elections also carry national implications.

Of the 36 governors’ campaigns, 17 will be open races mostly due to state term limit laws. While the Democrats must protect the preponderance of US Senate seats this year, the opposite situation exists in the governors’ races. Here, Republicans must defend 26 state houses, 13 of which are open seats.

Of the 13 GOP incumbents seeking re-election, three are actually running for governor for the first time. Govs. Kay Ivey (R-Alabama), Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa), and Henry McMaster (R-South Carolina) were all lieutenant governors who ascended to their current position because the person elected in 2014 is no longer in office.

Alabama’s Gov. Robert Bentley (R) was forced to resign as part of a plea bargain arrangement over campaign finance violations. The other two state chief executives, Terry Branstad (IA) and Nikki Haley (SC), accepted positions in the Trump Administration. At this point in the election cycle, all three unelected governors are favored to win a full term.

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