Monday, December 9, 2013
A conservative blogger for the Washington Post is taking up the call for Republicans to back Charlie Summers in Maine’s U.S. Senate race.
In a column titled, “Message to the GOP: Maine is not lost!,” Marc Thiessen cites a Portland Press Herald poll from late June showing that independent candidate Angus King had a 28-percentage point lead over Summers. Then he writes that after two weeks of anti-King TV advertising by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “King’s lead over Summers dropped 10 points.”
Thiessen doesn’t cite any source for the 10-point drop claim. However, it matches internal poll results circulated by the Summers campaign over the past 10 days. Other bloggers also have been writing about the numbers as though they are from an independent source, although neither the Press Herald nor anyone else has reported independent poll numbers since July.
It was widely expected that the U.S. Chamber’s ads would change the poll numbers in the race, at least temporarily. But the Summers campaign needs to show some significant change in order to keep the Chamber – and its money – in the race and to entice other outside groups to help.
Now, the Summers campaign is re-spinning its own poll, sending out fundraising letters and press releases that cite poll numbers published by various news organizations. The campaign also doesn't mention that the numbers are from its poll.
It’s not clear if the big national spenders will consider the Summers campaign poll numbers enough of an enticement. Even if the numbers are accurate, an 18-point deficit may keep some money out of the race.
Look for the next round of independent polls – or another round of TV ads – to see how well the Chambers ads worked.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com