Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Is Maine's Eliot Cutler The New Ralph Nader?

It sure looks like it.  The latest PPP poll finds incumbent Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage only getting 42% of the vote.  But that might be enough as Democrat Mike Michaud has 43%, and independent Cutler has 11% of the vote, enough to spoil the race and keep LePage in power.

Public Policy Polling’s newest survey of the Maine Governor’s race continues to find a tight contest with Mike Michaud at 43% to 42% for Paul LePage. Eliot Cutler trails in a distant third at 11%. We attribute the closeness of the race to a continued split among progressive-leaning voters. Without Cutler’s presence in the race, his supporters would overwhelmingly choose Michaud over LePage; in a two way matchup between Michaud and LePage, Michaud’s lead would be 50/46.

The good news is Cutler's progressive supporters are realizing that if he stays in the race, LePage is going to win again.  They're starting to turn to Michaud:

Cutler is becoming a less viable candidate as we get closer to Election Day. When PPP started polling in this contest in January of 2013, Cutler was at 26%. By August of last year, he had dropped down to 18%, then to 14% this April, and now he’s at his lowest level of support yet at 11%. Cutler is in a distant third place even with independents, despite being an independent. 
53% of Cutler’s supporters say they would pick Michaud in a head to head contest, compared to only 32% who say they would vote for LePage. The support he’s pulling from Michaud could be enough to reelect LePage in this razor thin contest. 
Paul LePage is one of the most unpopular governors in the country, and most voters in Maine want to replace him. Given the closeness of the race right now, they will need to unify around one of the two candidates challenging LePage. This poll is further confirmation that Michaud is the only candidate with the support necessary to defeat LePage in November.

So that's good.  Mainers are starting to realize that Cutler's taking enough support from Michaud to give LePage the possible win, and they're moving to Michaud.  Hopefully this trend will continue, because LePage really is one of the worst Tea Party governors in the country right now and he has to go.

For that to happen, Cutler can't be allowed to Nader this one into the GOP column.

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