Before Olympia Snowe's retirement in 2013, Maine was one of four states featuring two female senators. (California, Washington
and, since 2010, New Hampshire are the remaining three.) And it was the only state with two Republican female
senators. Independent former Governor Angus King succeeded Snowe by winning a three-way race in 2012 which saw the Democratic nominee score just 13% of the vote.
The loss was not significant for Democrats, however, since King caucuses with the Democrats, and his voting record has proven
to be reliably Democratic
. Some have called him "Independent in Name Only" (IINO?), a nickname
that provides an apt segue to this year's senate election here.
Susan Collins is up for re-election to a fourth term in the 2014 Maine Senate race and her reputation as a RINO (Republican in
name only) is well-earned. Her conservative score in 2012 as determined by the
American Conservative Union
was just 20%. But that track record fits in well in Maine, a state which gave President Obama 58% and 57% in 2008 and 2012,
respectively. Moreover, she has developed a good relationship with her constituents. They like her and don't appear to
be inclined to cut her loose.
A dozen years ago, northeastern RINOs were a plentiful breed in the Senate. Now, only Collins remains. But after
targeting Collins in her previous two re-election bids (in 2002 and 2008), Democrats seem to have conceded her a fourth term
this time around. They are more interested in mounting a challenge to Mark LaPage, the current Republican governor, who does
not enjoy the same cozy relationship with the folks in Maine. So it looks like the last northeastern RINO will stay on for at least
another six years.
Preliminary projection: Solid GOP Hold
You can track this race throughout the 2014 election season here at Election Projection by visiting the Maine Senate Election
page for polls, projections and updates. Also, check out the 2014 Senate Elections page for a summary of all Senate races on tap
in 2014 complete with EP's colorful red and blue Senate map.
posted by Scott Elliott at 9:58pm 12/16/13 :: link