Friday October 12, 2012 | 04:30 PM

Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, has nixed recent calls that she leave the race, lest she become a spoiler and give the race to Republican nominee Charlie Summers.

Dill has been polling far behind her rivals and appears a longshot to win the race. Many centrist and left-of-center voters fear a repeat of the 2010 gubernatorial contest, in which their vote split, the right's did not, and Paul LePage captured the Blaine House.

I interviewed Dill last week for a biographical profile -- out in Sunday's paper -- and asked her about the issue. She expressed astonishment that a major party nominee would be asked to leave the race weeks before election day, pointing out that Eliot Culter had lower polling numbers than she has at the same stage in their respective campaigns, yet nearly won the 2010 gubernatorial election.

"For people who suggest I should stand down, my response is: who is going to stand up for the values I bring to the table? It's not Angus King," she said, echoing previous remarks on the subject. "He's not fighting for working families and civil justice and economic justice."

But then, having slammed the door on the idea, she opened it a crack.

"In terms of the horse counting - the horse race, however you want to term it - it's too early to be asking," she said.

"What I tell people is: maybe there will be some last minute deal. You know, I'm a dealmaker. I settled large cases on the eve of trial," Dill, who is an attorney, added. "Maybe there will be something. But it won't be unless someone is willing - - Angus King needs to be clean with people and straight, because right now he's plaing this game" regarding which party he will caucus with.

If the polling numbers continue to tighten, expect Dill's phone to start ringing.

 

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or erussell@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or mbyrne@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or rbillings@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or mshepherd@centralmaine.com
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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