The latest poll by Rasmussen Reports shows Romney endorsee Paul LePage maintaining a small but significant lead in his race for Governor of Maine. The poll shows LePage up on Democrat Libby Mitchell by an eight point margin 39-31; independent candidate Eliot Cutler takes 15% of the vote. Cutler’s share of the vote has increased significantly, more than doubling over the past month. Nevertheless, LePage’s lead has held steadily over Mitchell, possibly indicating that Cutler is taking equally from both candidates. With 12% still undecided in this race and the potential for the third party candidate to influence the shape of the race, LePage is not yet a lock for victory. Still, the continuing lead is not a bad sign.
Governor Romney has endorsed and helped finance many Republican candidates for the 2010 elections. The latest of these are three individuals from Maine. Paul Lepage, running for governor, Dean Scontras for Congress in the 1st District, and Jason Levesque in the 2nd District all have received Mitt’s backing in their 2010 efforts.
Paul LePage headlines the card for Republicans in Maine. LePage is a conservative businessman and Waterville mayor who surged to a strong victory against several more moderate primary challengers. He seeks to lead Maine through the difficult position most states find themselves in, with over-large government programs and nowhere near enough wealth to pay for them. LePage gives the true conservative answer to this dilemma on his site, arguing against the culture of dependency on government that has arisen in America. His platform details plans to reduce and regulate government intrusion into the private sector, lower the taxes that are punishing Maine business owners, and repeal the failed Dirigo Health program, replacing it with a balanced free-market effort centered around tort reform.
LePage will take on State Senator Libby Mitchell in an open race to replace outgoing Democrat John Baldacci. Most indexes rate this race between Toss Up and Leans D. Nevertheless, a Rasmussen poll earlier in June showed LePage with a modest 43-36 lead in a three-way race. Third party candidate Eliot Cutler, who retains 7% of the vote in the aforementioned poll, is a former Democrat who could very well take votes away from Mitchell. Nothing is anywhere near certain this early into a race, but it appears that LePage has a very good chance for victory.
The two Congressional seats have both been in Democrat hands since the 1990s. ME-01 is held by freshman congresswoman Chellie Pingree, as former incumbent Tom Allen gave up the seat in his failed 2008 bid for the Senate. Pingree’s 54-43 victory in 2008 is slightly worse than Obama’s 58-40 statewide victory in Maine. Despite the long hold by Democrats, its hard to see this seat as not being in play as 2010 shapes up to be a Republican year. Our candidate, Dean Scontras is a deficit hawk who argues the desperate need to restrain government spending lest the country faces a future of uncontrollable debt and punishing taxes. His site blasts the cronyism in D.C, citing the deals cut with Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu in passing the health care bill. Regarding the health care bill, Scontras compares it to the unworkable Dirigo Health in Maine and challenges its Constitutionality on his blog.
ME-02 will be a more difficult battle, as Mike Michaud has thrice won reelection by large margins since his narrow 52-47 victory to take the open seat in 2002. Nevertheless, this is not a liberal district. Michaud has maintained his popularity as a Blue Dog Democrat, supporting veterans and pro-life causes. This year could see him having a harder time flashing his moderate credentials, while burdened with an unpopular party leadership on the extreme left. Our candidate, Jason Levesque, is an Army veteran who headlines his campaign with conservative positions supporting reduced spending, Second Amendment rights, and energy independence. As with his conservative colleagues, Levesque argues that the true answer to health care reform lies with tort reform and free market incentives for businesses, not punishing taxes and mandates. Should LePage prove to be a popular candidate on top of the ticket, Jason Levesque could find a way to be part of a Republican sweep of Congress in 2010. He needs your support, though.
The important point to note on all three candidates, other than that they could use your help, is that they are all conservative. They are not running in the mold of Maine’s infamous ladies of the Senate, preaching a moderate path and bipartisan cooperation. They are running on less government, lower taxes, an end to deficit spending, and an end to government-run health care efforts. Those who wish to claim that Mitt Romney is a squishy unreliable moderate compared to the true ideological conservatism of Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, etc. need to look more closely at the work he is doing for conservatives nationwide. The argument that Romney is an untrustworthy insider really is a myth. His endorsements have agreed with those of conservative darling Sarah Palin more often than not, and in many cases such as this, Mitt Romney has taken the lead in backing the next wave of conservative reformers who will bring us out of the dismal times of the Obama administration. LePage, Scontras, and Levesque have the potential to be valuable members of this oncoming conservative wave.
Links are included below for you to see for yourself.
Paul LePage for Governor: http://www.lepage2010.com/
Dean Scontras for Congress: http://www.scontras2010.com/
Jason Levesque for Congress: http://levesqueforcongress.com/