Thursday, December 12, 2013
Local election officials say the turnout in the June 12 primary will be less than 20 percent. Some have said as low as 15 percent.
That's based in part of an really low demand for absentee ballots statewide.
They could be wrong. Maybe voters have too many choices – 10 U.S. Senate candidates, for example – and need more time.
But, if they're right, which Senate candidates would it help? Which ones would it hurt?
Low turnout is generally good news for whoever gets the conservative Republican vote and the liberal Democratic vote. Their supporters won't sit out the primary.
That's especially true if Angus King's independent candidacy keeps moderate Republicans and democrats at home next Tuesday.
But the low turnout also helps the candidates with: A) name recognition, B) money and C) a strong get-out-the vote organization.
At least one expert observer, former State Sen. Phil Harriman, R-Yarmouth, said the races won't be decided until the final days of the campaign.
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or email@example.com
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org