Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Maine's U.S. Senate Seat Just Got A Little Easier For A Democrat To Win


State Senator Shenna Bellows-- fingers crossed

The 2020 Senate map is better than the 2018 map was-- but not much better. The Democrats really only have one tough seat to defend that they are likely to lose, Alabama (Jones)-- but that's the only good news. The bad news is that most of the Republican seats up for grabs are pretty safe too. To take back control of the Senate the Democrats are looking for luck in unlikely red states like Texas (Cornyn), Georgia (Perdue), North Carolina (Tillis) and Kentucky (McConnell). There are no easy seats but if there are four comparable to the two the Dems won last year (Arizona and Nevada), they are Arizona again (McSally), Colorado (Gardner), Iowa (Ernst) and Maine (Collins). Something has come up that will be helpful in Maine if Collins decides to run again.

Context: In 1992 Clinton won Maine because Ross Perot beat George H.W. Bush by around 300 votes, throwing the win to Clinton. 1996 was easier for Clinton and after that Gore, Kerry, Obama both times and even Hillary managed to scrape through (albeit with a pitiful plurality and the loss of one of the 4 electoral votes). Maine elected a Democratic governor in 2002 (John Baldacci) for two terms and then Republican extremist Paul LePage, also for two terms. Last year the gubernatorial race went to Democrat Janet Mills. She beat Republican Shawn Moody by over 50,000 votes, 51-43%. But Maine hasn't elected a Democratic senator since 1988 (George Mitchell). When Mitchell retired, Olympia Snowe won and 2 years later Susan Collins won the other seat. When Snowe retired in 2012, Independent Angus King won the seat. Half the state is very blue-- D+8 and the other half is swingy (R+2).

Over the weekend Felicia Sonmez and Michael Scherer reported for the Washington Post that Democrats see an opening in Collins' considerable armor because of Brett Kavanaugh's anti-Choice vote last week.
The outcry from the left follows the court’s 5-to-4 vote to block a restrictive Louisiana abortion law. The 2014 law, which has never been enforced, would effectively shutter most of the state’s abortion clinics by requiring physicians at those facilities to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

While Democrats hailed the decision, they pointed to Kavanaugh’s dissent as a sign that he is poised to side with conservatives in future rulings on abortion rights.

In his dissent, Kavanaugh said there was a dispute about whether the physicians in the Louisiana case could obtain admitting privileges, and that a 45-day grace period would have provided time to settle that question.

Democrats are particularly incensed at Collins, who delivered a 44-minute-long floor speech in October declaring her support for Kavanaugh. At the time, Collins, who supports abortion rights, said she did not think Kavanaugh would vote to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.

...Brian Fallon, director of Demand Justice, a liberal group that opposed the Kavanaugh nomination, said the group will launch a digital ad buy of more than $10,000 next week in Maine to inform voters of how Collins’ vote for Kavanaugh helped lead to the close call in Thursday’s ruling. He said coming Supreme Court cases that will be decided before the next election, on issues such as abortion, immigration and transgender troops, will provide more opportunities to make the Kavanaugh vote costly for Collins.

"These are all issues that we think will make Collins look like just another politician for having supported Kavanaugh," Fallon said. "We will be able to say, 'I told you so.'"

"The Kavanaugh thing for her is going to be a very salient issue," he continued. "It might be the deciding issue in that race." The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, is also criticizing Collins for her vote in support of Kavanaugh.

"It’s hard to know what’s worse: misleading Mainers and Americans about a Supreme Court justice who just tried to make Roe v. Wade obsolete or raising hundreds of thousands of dollars off the vote," DSCC communications director Lauren Passalacqua said in a statement. "Susan Collins keeps showing Maine families she’s not on their side and why she won’t be reelected if she runs."

National abortion rights groups, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL, also drew attention to Kavanaugh’s dissent Friday, as did several Democratic senators. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) argued that Kavanaugh "has started attacking Roe v. Wade from the bench."

"That means women & men who believe women should have access to safe, legal abortion must stand up stronger than ever for women’s constitutionally protected health care rights," Murray said in a tweet.

Collins will make a firm decision on whether to run for reelection near the end of 2019, she said in a televised interview last month.

"I'm getting ready to run. But frankly, I just think it's, it’s too early to make that kind of decision," Collins said on NBC’s Meet The Press. "But I am getting prepared, and I'll make a final decision towards the end of this year."

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At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murkowski waffled and voted present. some Nazi didn't show up. Are they heroes?

and fucking joe manchin voted with Collins to confirm.

is joe manchin going to be primaried next time?

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leaving west Virginia to return to Maine, I contributed to the fund for Collins' opponent. So tell us about State Senator Shenna Bellows, Howie. I'd like to know that my contribution has a chance of being successful. I'm not interested in backing a Neo-Dog who would vote just like Collins. Too many of those are already in office, and I want to see them replaced.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger leu2500 said...

I’m not giving up on NC & GA. They may not be easy, but look at how close Abrams’ came to winning the GA gov’s race with all the BS Kemp pulled. Now add Bernie (hope, hope) running for prez.

At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leu, remember that Abrams only got close because of the anti-red wave. In a normal year, she'd have lost by 10 points. it's fucking geor..ja.

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous wjbill said...

I can remember the last time she ran and status quo organizations like planned parenthood and sierra club opted to support Collins.

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for some reason, Collins has been viewed as one (of two) "nicer Nazis". you know the meme... lesser evil. maine voters only proved that they want evil... just not quite as much as those in AL, TX, OK, KS...

I haven't been to maine since 1967 so I cannot claim any insight into those voters except via those they've actually elected.

collins' vote to confirm kkkavanaugh is all you need to consider. And she was not immediately recalled.

IT'S FUCKING MAINE!! keep your expectations low.


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