I’m betting that trend will continue in 2008, but if this election turns out to be a tradition-breaker, it won’t be because some vice-presidential candidate can field dress a moose. (“The mauve cummerbund looks nice, or do you think it’ll clash with the Armani antler accents?”) It won’t be because her husband races snowmobiles. (Given the economy, there may be more snow machines on front lawns with “For Sale” signs on them than at races.) And it won’t be because she knows the name of the National Hockey League franchise in Tampa Bay (Ice Flamingos? Frozen Palm Trees? White Wrinklies?).
If Republicans are serious about stealing an electoral vote from the Democrats (I mean stealing in a nice way, not like with malfunctioning voting machines or disenfranchised low-income and minority voters), they need to get past the clichés, and address the real differences between the 2nd District and Maine’s more prosperous southern tip. Those differences aren’t about party affiliation or political orientation as much as they are about practical matters.
In Sagadahoc County (1st District), the average weekly wage in 2007 was $762. In neighboring Cumberland County (also 1st CD), it was $732. In Piscataquis County (2nd CD), the average paycheck was $506.
According to a Portland Community Chamber study in 2007, Portland alone accounts for over 42 percent of Maine’s jobs, income, and gross state product. That’s more of all three than the entire 2nd District.
Northern Maine is less educated, less healthy, and less accessible than the southern part of the state. That offsets the 2nd District’s edge in moose-car collisions, snowmobile accidents, and teeth lost in hockey-related disagreements.
More consideration, please. Less condescension.
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