Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Snowe and Crist

One person who came to mind when I was processing Charlie Crist's poll numbers the last couple days was Olympia Snowe.

Crist and Snowe are the only two politicians I can think of who we've polled in the last year and found to be more popular with voters in the other party than in their own.

Snowe's up in 2012, and in one respect I could see a similar plight for her to Crist. We found back in November that 59% of Republicans would prefer to nominate a more conservative challenger to her the next time around compared to only 32% who would pick Snowe. Those numbers are very similar to the 60/28 lead we found for Marco Rubio over Crist. Certainly Snowe has a couple years to make Maine Republicans happy with her again, but it could be a hard fight for renomination.

Snowe's prospects for getting reelected as an independent- or even as a Democrat- are a lot better than Crist's though.

For one thing Maine is open to electing independents- 2 of the last 5 Governors were. More importantly for Snowe in comparison to Crist is that while Republicans have soured on her a little bit she still has very good numbers with Democrats (60/29) and independents (51/33). Her popularity with those groups has kept her overall approval rating over 50%, a standing few Senators are reaching these days.

Maybe the far right will give Snowe a free pass on the assumption that she's as good as conservatives are going to get in a state like Maine. But her best path to reelection might come outside the Republican Party.


Matt Bales said...

Do you think that Scott Brown will be elevated into this grouping given his 70% job approval rating in MA? I know it very early in his Senate career...just curious as to your thoughts on Scott Brown.

Anonymous said...

Wishful thinking.

Olympia Snowe and Jock McKernan have had near-total control over the Maine GOP establishment for over 20 years.

Political power is much more decentralized in Florida; if anything, it's centered in the Jeb camp rather than with Crist.

Additionally, Snowe is the incumbent, while Crist is not.

Anonymous said...

Tom, I am sure that this time you're wrong! make another Maine poll and you'll see that the numbers changed drastically, Snowe is now hailed even in conservative Republican circles for practically being the one who drowned HCR! She gained a lot of trust among Republicans and probably lost a bit by Democrats! don't believe me? make another poll! I'm 100% sure that it'll be fundametally different!

Kirk said...

If Snowe continues lockstepping with the GOP on health care reform, an issue dear to the hearts of many Dems and Indies in Maine, I can see a deterioration in her favorability by 2012. We are all astounded by Charlie Crists' collapse in FL. Nothing is etched in stone in politics. Snowe will likely face a strong Dem in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Paranoid ravings. If Snowe and McKernan controlled the Maine GOP, Charlie Webster wouldn't be chair.

After the blood feuds McKernan had with Democrats when he was governor, there is zero chance that Snowe will ever switch to their party. Nobody in Maine can beat Snowe under any circumstances, period.

Christian Liberty said...

Snowe is making the right decision to oppose Obamacare because she has seen first hand the FAILURE of government healthcare in Maine. No rational Maine resident with any knowledge of economics could possibly support Obamacare after seeing the damage it has caused their own state. The fact that Snowe even negotiated with Obama instead of opposing it entirely just shows how Snowe has bent over backwards to indulge Obama's delusion and see if there is any possible way to reform healthcare with a far-left ideological congress running roughshod over the legislative process.

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