Phil: For our first column at the Maine Sunday Telegram, how about some political predictions?

Ethan: Love it! You know my favorite pastime is displaying my superior analytical abilities.

Phil: You mean like that time you predicted gas would drop to $1.30 under Obama?

Ethan: Well at least I didn’t predict that Obama would lose to both McCain and Romney.

Phil: I guarantee he won’t win in 2016! Let’s start with the congressional primaries in the 2nd District coming up next week. Who wins the party nod for the Democrats and who wins for the Republicans?

Ethan: Far be it from me to know how Republicans think, but I think they are just crazy enough to choose former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin. Plus, the Dems’ best chance of keeping the seat is if Bruce is your nominee. For those reasons, I say the man from Waterville … I mean, from Georgetown … I mean from Oakland (finally, a town in the 2nd CD!), squeaks it out.

Phil: If energy, enthusiasm and effort prevails, Poliquin will win. But former Senate President Kevin Raye has gravitas, guts, and I expect will have a fireworks finale in the final weeks. Raye at the wire.

Ethan: On the Democratic side, both have great strengths. Sen. Emily Cain is progressive on social issues. Sen. Troy Jackson is progressive on economic issues. Although Troy supports marriage equality now, he did vote against it back in 2009. And although Emily says she supports reducing income inequality, she repeatedly voted for LePage’s tax cut for the wealthy.

Phil: Stop equivocating. Cain or Jackson?

Ethan: While it has been over 20 years since I lived in 2nd District, my sense is that Troy is closer to the Democratic profile there. He’s very genuine like Mike Michaud and he appears to have the better ground game. I am taking Troy in a squeaker.

Phil: The last Democratic primary I picked had Rosa Scarcelli beating Libby Mitchell, so take this with a grain of salt. My sense is that Cain wins because of her University of Maine and Bangor metro connections.

Ethan: Now the state Senate. On the Democratic side, I think Sen. John Tuttle will beat Rep. Andrea Boland in Sanford, Cathy Breen will beat Steve Woods in your old Senate seat (Yarmouth/Falmouth/Cumberland), and Rep. Jim Dill will beat former Rep. Herbie Clark in Penobscot County.

Phil: On the Republican side, the only one we have is Rep. Paul Davis challenging incumbent Sen. Doug Thomas in Piscatiquis County. I say Davis’ long record of service prevails.

Ethan: Locally, Portland has a referendum on whether there should be a vote before the council sells a park.

Phil: My prediction is that Portland will come to its senses and vote no, thereby selling that concrete slab for some respectable development.

Ethan: Thank goodness you live in Yarmouth! Those of us who live in Portland want our parks protected from the whims of our City Council. I believe the “Yes” side will win.

Phil: OK, now the big one. The governor’s race in November. My prediction is that Gov. Paul LePage is going to be re-elected. He has connected with voters who want a government that is frugal and practical. And his “calls-’em-like-he-sees-’em” brand appeals to people who care enough to vote.

Ethan: I think you just stopped the hearts of 70 percent of the Maine Sunday Telegram readers.

Phil: Not only that, let me take it one step further. As I said on TV earlier this year, I think unenrolled Eliot Cutler will come in second, with Democrat Mike Michaud coming in third.

Ethan: I actually agree with you that LePage will get re-elected if this race remains three-way. His base of support is simply too strong and his popularity is strengthening just enough to push him into the 40s, which will be unbeatable if Mike and Eliot split the rest.

Phil: Did you say you agree with me? We’re off to a great start.

Ethan: Hold on. That said, I am taking Cutler at his word to our new fellow columnist Bill Nemitz. Cutler said he will bow out and encourage voters to go elsewhere if he is not viable by Election Day. If he does, Michaud wins with over 45 percent of the vote.

Phil: ‘I’m in it to win it, unless I am not?’ Hard to imagine Cutler will walk away after spending the kind of money he has already invested.

Ethan: So, what do you think of our new surroundings this week?

Phil: Nice to be in our hometown paper, one that I delivered every Sunday as a young entrepreneur.

Ethan: They had newspapers back then? See you next week.