November 14, 2010

Cutler: Parties becoming irrelevant

By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

20101025_Cutler
click image to enlarge

Eliot Cutler

Staff file photo

But Cutler said this allows a Clean Election candidate such as Mitchell to obtain public financing and still benefit from the money spent by outside groups. He said it's fiction that campaigns and outside groups are not coordinating their efforts.

Colby College political scientist L. Sandy Maisel disagreed with Cutler's views on the relevance of political parties.

"Parties have been threatened as organizations through their history. One of the things political scientists know is that they are incredibly adept at finding new roles," said Maisel, who is a Democratic activist and a former congressional candidate.

Parties still give cues to voters, he said. Only about 10 percent of voters neither belong to a party nor lean toward one over the others, he said.

University of Maine political scientist Mark Brewer said Cutler's strong showing as an independent may indicate weakness in the parties, but other dynamics also characterized the election. A divided Democratic Party in the primary and the Republicans' nomination of the conservative LePage benefited Cutler, he said.

Cutler campaigned well, performed well in debates and refrained from negative advertising, Brewer said. His close finish in the election and his name recognition would help him if he runs for office again, he said.

"What I would not say is he's one and done," Brewer said. 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

akim@pressherald.com

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


Most…