Thursday, June 10, 2010

Olympia Snowe's Future

One of the less obvious losers in Tuesday night's primary results? It may have been Olympia Snowe, as Maine Republicans showed that they were perfectly willing to nominate a Tea Party candidate in spite of the moderation the state's two Republican Senators are known for.

Paul LePage, who was embraced by the Tea Party crowd, won a surprisingly resounding 20 point victory over several challengers who more closely fit the Snowe/Collins mold to win the GOP nomination for Governor on Tuesday night.

Back in November we found that only 31% of Maine Republicans would be inclined to nominate Snowe for another term while 59% said they would prefer a more conservative alternative. Some folks questioned the relevance of those numbers at the time, saying that the far right couldn't control the Republican Party in Maine and that Snowe was too popular to get taken out by the Tea Party. But between the results in the primary Tuesday night and what happened to Charlie Crist in Florida I think Snowe is extremely vulnerable to a challenger from the right.

Simply put if a well funded Tea Party candidate targets Olympia Snowe in the primary in 2012 I think she'll lose. Her best path to reelection is probably switching to being an independent, ala Jim Jeffords, but going about the party switch in a more principled way than Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist. Specter and Crist both blatantly left the GOP because they were facing imminent defeat. If Snowe wants to get reelected she should get out now, before the conventional wisdom becomes there's no way she can win another term running as a Republican. That way she can say she's sick of both parties in Washington and wants to provide an independent voice and perhaps be judged sincere in expressing those sentiments. It'll be interesting to see what she does.


Carl said...

Didn't a socially conservative Republican win the nomination for governor in 2006? I'm not sure if it has a lot to do with conservative furor in Maine -- I think it has more to do with moderates, or pseudo-moderates, canceling each other out in the primary.

Anonymous said...

So a Tea partier got 20%. 20% isn't enough in a 1 on 1 race.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

LePage was embraced by some of the tea party crowd. Tea Party people voted for Beardsley & Otten as well. It will be interesting to see if LePage can win in the general seeing as he quite a social conservative.

One has to remember that the large majority of Maine voters are independents (who came out in droves to vote for Question 1 a tax issue) who tend to be fairly moderate socially.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is the second win for a far-right, creationist candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Maine. Thus it's hard to know if it has any implications for Snowe.

wt said...

Another possibility is that she tacks right to win the primary and goes after her opponent early and hard.

That, however, obviously exposes her left flank in the general election. Very depressing that this could happen.

Unknown said...

The polling of Snowe vs. "more conservative" is interesting but until there's an actual conservative they can vote for it doesn't mean much. The governor's race was noticeably lacking a candidate even approaching Snowe's stature.

Going independent is unlikely to work for Snowe. Jeffords never ran for re-election. With the country more polarized and anti-incumbent it's worse for her. Specter switched and lost his seniority. If Snowe doesn't caucus with either party then she'll lose her committee assignments. She'd have to caucus with the Democrats.

Snowe would have three years of a voting record and be seen as a traitor to most Republicans. Even though Specter changed his voting to Democratic party line he still wasn't accepted as a liberal.

Independent can work for Bernie Sanders because he never left a party. It might work for Charlie Crist because he's running for a different office and Kendrick Meek is considered a weak candidate. It won't work for a sitting senator.

Joe Lieberman won the election because the Republicans didn't have a good candidate. In 2012 both parties will have good candidates to go against him. Republicans are unlikely to vote for him because his voting record as an independent is liberal. Democrats dislike him for his support of Bush and McCain, among other things.

Since the Republican and Democrat are likely to get over 80% of their own party Lieberman would need to get 80% of independents to win.

Christian Liberty said...

Get this through your thick heads:

There is nothing "far right" about the Tea Party. The Tea Party IS MAINSTREAM.

Big LePage win reveals appeal BEYOND Tea Party

"his landslide victory in the primary resulted from a broader public appeal"

Conservatives, Republicans, and independents are only the early adopters. More and more Americans will embrace the Tea Party. The demagoguery of the left only slows this inevitable realignment; it cannot reverse America's increasing support for Tea Party principles. The Tea Party is the voice of the majority of Americans. It cannot be silenced by silly leftists smearing them as "far right".

NRH said...

The Tea Party is viewed unfavorably by 50% of Americans. It therefore quite patently cannot be 'the voice of the majority of Americans.' Meanwhile, Tea Partier Orly Taitz managed not quite a quarter of the Republican votes in her race for California Secretary of State, Jim DeMint easily secured his renomination over a Tea Party candidate, and Sarah Palin's endorsement failed to make any impact in race after race. The Tea Party is losing popularity steadily as people find out what it stands for - like Rand Paul's declaration that private enterprises should be free to discriminate against blacks.

In any case, Specter lost nomination as a Democrat for the Senate because voting a straight party line was not only transparently self-serving, it was also in his record that he had a tendency to be unreliable for four years, then suddenly be a good soldier when there was a primary looming - and his late switch came only after the polls showed he was losing badly in the primary to a right-wing extremist.

Snowe, by contrast, has been known to cross the aisle even in election years, and there is no polling right now that indicates she's in any trouble. Switching parties now would be much easier to portray as a principled move, and three years would give her time to build up a record (where Specter had effectively one year to overcome his own long history). She would still be potentially vulnerable to a primary challenge, but she would have more time to prepare and less baggage to overcome, and there's no indications she'd be any safer staying on the side that's lately been prone to purity challenges.

Christian Liberty said...

Keep telling yourself that, NRH, you delusional moron. The Tea Party principles are what all reasonable people support. The Tea Party principles are how all successful people live their lives. The Tea Party is the movement of responsible adults.

20 years ago, no one had an internet connection in their home. Now the vast majority of all homes do. The Tea Party will be embraced by the overwhelming majority of all Americans just as certainly as the internet grew.

All rational people agree with the Tea Party.

The Tea Party is the majority. Only the delusional demagoguery of the left can slow down (but never reverse) the inevitable transformation of America into a Tea Party nation.

Christian Liberty said...

The Tea Party message grows more and more popular

Conservative Pundits Strike a Chord as Nation Grows Wary of Liberalism

Libertarianism popularity surges
"Earlier this week, Glenn Beck harnessed this same spirit when he promoted Friedrich Hayek's monumental work "The Road to Serfdom" on air. In about a day the book was number 1 on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestsellers lists."
"and shortly after the program was over, the book title soared to the top of Google’s top search list."

The continued rise of the Tea Party is part of a permanent realignment in politics.

Christian Liberty said...

Conservative class on Founding Fathers' answers to current woes gains popularity

"SPRINGFIELD, MO. -- Earl Taylor has spent 31 years teaching that "the Founding Fathers have answers to nearly every problem we have in America today." Only in recent months has he found so many eager students.

On a recent Saturday, he held the rapt attention of 70 of them with a narrative of U.S. history. The eight-hour seminar held at a roadside inn here was one of half a dozen "Making of America" sessions in cities nationwide that day, all sponsored by a little-known conservative organization based in Idaho.

Two years ago, Taylor, who is president of the National Center for Constitutional Studies, made about 35 trips to speak to small church groups and political gatherings. This year, he has received so many requests that he enlisted 15 volunteer instructors, who are on pace to hold more than 180 sessions reaching thousands of people."

Americans are becoming more educated about conservatism and more enamored with conservatism.

Christian Liberty said...

Three-fourths of independents have a favorable view of the tea party movement and say one-party control of the White House and Congress has been bad.

NRH, The OVERWHELMING majority of independents see the Tea Party as favorable. If you don't have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, you are the one who is pathetically out of touch with America.

NRH said...

The Tea Party is viewed unfavorably by 50% of Americans. This is a poll result, not a random and unsupported declaration of ideological supremacy. The statement "The tea party is the majority" is very specifically disproved. It is in fact both delusional and moronic to continue asserting otherwise without a countervailing factual basis. But, then, hyperbole and counterfactual claims are what real Americans have come to expect from that extremist fringe (which, drawing nearly exclusively from the Republican party as it does, represents a right-wing schism more than a realignment - how'd NY-23 work out for ya?). The existence of right-wing book clubs that make bulk purchases that artificially drive up bestseller rankings hardly disputes, let alone disproves, the unpopularity of the 'kill Social Security' crowd.

By all means, please, convince Angle and Rand Paul to run their entire campaigns on 'eliminate Social Security and Medicare' and 'Drill, baby, drill.' If they do that and win, then there would be a basis for saying Tea Party ideas have popular support. As it is, though, even Angle and Paul know that trying to do something like that would be, well, irrational, if they want to get elected. Now that Americans have seen what the Tea Party wants to do, they're hastily backing away.

Last summer was the peak of the teabaggers; this year they failed to get even five hundred residents of Boston to a rally, when their rally in 2009 drew a few thousand. The Tea Party worked to draw people in as long as everyone could project their own ideas onto them. Now that actual people are starting to promote the actual policies of the Tea Party, Americans can't run away fast enough.

Enjoy those brief memories of relevance in a non-election year before they fade.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"The Tea Party principles are what all reasonable people support. The Tea Party principles are how all successful people live their lives. The Tea Party is the movement of responsible adults."


Anonymous said...

L Otten is not moderate, I think they are more not moderate votes than the votes for LePage.

If O Snowe wish switch party, now is the moment, and she must switch to democrat. In Maine would not be a J Sestak in this moment, because C Pingree is still in the first term and I think M Michaud would challenge not her if she switch.

Im very curious for a poll about Maine, without forget S Collins (with a former aide in the gubernatorial race).

Anonymous said...

Sorry "Christian Liberty" but you are true Freaky teabagger.

Always making me laugh :)

Christian Liberty said...

When household income declines, responsible adults reduce their spending... and they demand that their government (which STEALS from them) do the same. That makes lower taxes and lower government spending the responsible choice of responsible adults. That makes the Tea Party the choice of responsible adults. Economically and morally, responsible adults are Tea Party people. Only brainwashed fools don't support Tea Party principles like limited Constitutional government and lower taxes. Responsible adults either support the Tea Party... or they don't think the Tea Party goes far enough. No responsible adults oppose limited government. No responsible adults oppose lower taxes.

Christian Liberty said...

"As regards the social apparatus of repression and coercion, the government, there cannot be any question of freedom. Government is essentially the negation of liberty. It is the recourse to violence or threat of violence in order to make all people obey the orders of the government, whether they like it or not. As far as the government's jurisdiction extends, there is coercion, not freedom." (Ludwig von Mises)

Rational people do not support the growth of government power. Moral people do not support the growth of government power.

Rational, moral people either support the Tea Party... or wish the Tea Party would go even further in its critique of the government.

Anyone who opposes or demeans Tea Party principles of limited constitutional government is misinformed, corrupt, irrational, dishonest, or immoral.

Christian Liberty said...

Republican leads in Maine(RR)

LePage ....(R) 43
Mitchell ..(D) 36
Culver ....(I)..7

Independents prefer LePage
44% LePage, 24% Mitchell and 10% Cutler.

LePage seen more favorably
"LePage is viewed Very Favorably by 25% of Maine voters and Very Unfavorably by nine percent (9%).
For Mitchell, Very Favorables are 22% and Very Unfavorables 18%."

Majorities in ME prefer conservative positions on major issues

**54% favor offshore oil drilling despite the ongoing Gulf oil leak

**53% of Maine voters favor repeal of the national health care bill

*"56% of voters in Maine favor passage of an immigration law like Arizona’s in their state... Seventy percent (70%) of all voters in Maine like the chief provision of the Arizona law, a requirement that local police check the immigration status of anyone they stop for a traffic violation or some other kind of violation if they suspect that person is an illegal immigrant."

Obama approval down
"Barack Obama carried Maine with 58% of the vote in the 2008 elections, but just 48% of voters in the state now approve of the job he is doing as president. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove."

Anonymous said...

Look if it wasn't for Jean LaMarch Woodcock would have handidly beaten Baldacci. She did the same thing Pierot did to Bush, Sr, and made Bill Clinton president.I am a proud mainstream Vet Tea Partier, and a Christian to boot. As far as I am concerned the Snowes and Collinses have to modify to us, or we will be one bankrupt socialist mess which has always been Obama's transformation of America objective.

Anonymous said...

Pretty ignorant thinking only 20%...try 20% lead dummy.

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