November 5, 2012

Race for Snowe's seat has been hot since its start

The senator's February surprise touched off a contest that has attracted big national attention and money.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

Today's poll: Election tone

Has the tone of this year's election season been nastier than usual?

Yes

No

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On the ballot Tuesday for Olympia Snowe's U.S. Senate seat are, from left, top row, independents Danny Dalton and Andrew Ian Dodge and Democrat Cynthia Dill; and from left, bottom row, independent Angus King, Republican Charlie Summers and independent Steve Woods.

The Associated Press

REPUBLICANS STILL SPENDING

Yet after more than $10 million in spending by all parties, polls suggest that while the numbers have shifted, the order remains the same: King leading Summers by double-digits with Dill trailing in third.

"I don't think a lot of that made a big difference," said Kenneth Palmer, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Maine, of the unconventional advertising tactics. "Even with all of the outside spending, I don't think that changed things very much. Angus started out very well and I think he will win."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the U.S. Chamber and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have largely pulled out of Maine and diverted their money to more competitive races.

But not all Republican groups have given up on retaining ownership of Snowe's Senate seat -- or at least intend to put up a solid fight to the end for it.

Crossroads GPS paid another $335,000 last week for additional anti-King ads to run through Election Day. And a new conservative group, Safe Nation PAC, spent just shy of $35,000 on mailers and radio ads meant to provide Summers with last-second boost.

Safe Nation PAC, which is based in Georgia, appeared to be employing a split-the-vote strategy in the mailers, which portray Dill as a solid progressive over King. But their radio ads, which will run through Election Day, tout Summers' military career and work as Maine's secretary of state.

"A judgment was made on whether or not the Senate race was in play, and it is," said R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for the PAC. "Charlie is a very good candidate, and there's an opportunity where a difference can be made."

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at: kmiller@pressherald.com

Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

 

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Today's poll: Election tone

Has the tone of this year's election season been nastier than usual?

Yes

No

View Results