Friday, December 13, 2013
The Hill published a story this weekend in which Democratic strategist U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, of New York, said that the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, would be under Democratic influence come next year.
Schumer was discussing the likelihood that Democrats would retain the chamber after the election. The story focused primarily on states where Democrats had a chance to add to their current majority, but Schumer had this to say about Maine, where independent Angus King is current frontrunner.
“There’s only one state where the strong likelihood is there’s a pick-up," Schumer said. "That’s Maine and that’s ours."
Schumer's comments were immediately seized by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has been advancing the narrative that King is a Democrat cloaked as an independent. King has declined to say which party he'll caucus with if he's elected in November. Brian Walsh, with the NRSC, said in a statement that King is staying mum in an effort to trick Republican voters.
"It’s simply insulting to voters in Maine and to the candidates running for the Democratic nomination that King is playing this dishonest, cat-and-mouse game," Walsh said.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.