On those issues, Michaud is in line with most of his current constituents, but in southern Maine, his positions are severely out of whack with the vast majority of his party’s members. A lot of them simply won’t vote for any candidate who isn’t consistently pro-choice and anti-gun.
Which, coincidentally enough, describes Cutler.
If the independent can peel off even a small percentage of ardent liberals who can’t stomach Michaud, Cutler can make the same kind of showing at the polls as he did in 2010. By which I mean he’ll finish second again. Michaud, having lost crucial support in the 1st District, fades to third. And the winner is the aforementioned individual with the anger-management issues.
In the aftermath of that scenario, Democratic bigshots will be looking for someone to blame, and the obvious candidate is the party’s left wing.
The Dem leaders will take out their wrath on the voters who cared more about issues than winning elections, the extremists who put ideology ahead of practicality, the idealists who stayed true to their beliefs at the expense of handing the Blaine House back to a right-wing Republican.
There’ll be the sort of open warfare within the Democratic Party that hasn’t been seen in Maine politics since the last GOP state convention. The Dems will be so intent on slaughtering their own that Republicans will be able to win elections with even the most absurd candidates.
Well, maybe not Bruce Poliquin.
Correction In a column last month, I erroneously wrote that following Ted O’Meara’s term as chairman of the Maine Republican Party, he went on to lose a race for Congress. In reality, O’Meara’s failed congressional bid came first.
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