Ethan: Four score and seven years ago, the 2014 campaign for governor began. But seriously, can you believe we are now less than 72 hours from it finally being over?

Phil: And not a moment too soon. As much as I enjoy your company, I have seen more of you before 6 a.m. in the past three months than I have my lovely wife.

Ethan: She is indeed lovely, but the way this race is playing out, we could have recounts for days and plenty more opportunities to spend time together.

Phil: God help us. Last week we predicted the U.S. Senate, CD1, and State House. You ready to make your predictions on the Gov, CD2 and bears? Let’s start with the Gov.

Ethan: At this point I am ready to flip a coin. Every day a new poll comes out that shows the race is tied. The only thing I am certain of is that Cutler will come in third, which he finally acknowledged last week.

Phil: Agreed. Cutler in third and a toss-up between LePage and Michaud. But, as we are paid to put our opinions on the line, it is time for us to officially declare who will win.


Ethan: Honestly, I could make a case for either. Michaud will win because they have a better ground game. LePage will win because his people are more passionate. Michaud will win because the undecideds usually flow to the challenger. LePage will win because the bear referendum will bring out more conservatives.

Phil: Let me clarify for you. LePage will win. First and foremost, as you have often said, we simply don’t throw out incumbent governors in Maine. We haven’t done so in 50 years. Second, the governor has controlled the debate all election and kept our focus on the issues that play to his strengths. In political parlance, he has “kept the conversation on his lily pad.” But most importantly, I believe a strong plurality, if not a majority, agree with his policies even if they dislike his personality. In the end, those policies will win out. LePage will take it 45-44-11.

Ethan: For much of the campaign, I have said the same. This was the governor’s to lose. But I believe he has lost it. Or more accurately, Michaud has taken it from him. The party unity he has built and his values-based campaigning have been spot on. But most importantly, he handled Cutler extremely well leading up to this past week’s implosion. Never attacked him. Never took the bait when he was attacked. Started asking for Cutler’s voters to shift prior to the collapse, so it was already in voters’ minds (and Republicans appear to have been caught completely flat-footed in asking Cutler supporters to move to LePage). My prediction a year ago was that Mike would win in the wake of Cutler pulling out. Now that Cutler has pretty much done just that, the advantage is Mike’s. I am predicting a 47-45-8 final, with Michaud being sworn in Jan. 2nd.

Phil: Neither of us is predicting a wide victory. You may be right about a recount. Let’s just hope everyone can shake hands after the results are tallied.

Ethan: OK, how about 2nd Congressional District?

Phil: Poliquin’s debate performance on WCSH and WLBZ almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. With the help of voters coming out to defeat the bear-baiting referendum, and Bruce’s tireless campaigning, I predict he wins 46-45, with 9 percent for Richardson.


Ethan: I heard that prominent CD2 Republicans called Poliquin personally to share their disappointment in his debate style.

Phil: Yes, I heard the same.

Ethan: Not a good sign if your own party members are disappointed, especially since they have Blaine Richardson to fall back upon. While I predicted a year ago that Kevin Raye would be our next Congressman from CD2, the one caveat I had was that if Republicans nominated Poliquin, Dems would take the seat. I am sticking with that prediction and Cain will win: 47-44-9.

Phil: From my analysis, I think the bear-baiting referendum will go down pretty easily. I’m gonna say 52-48, which is about same as the vote in 2004. My sense is the no side has simply made a better argument and made better use of the facts. Maine people appreciate that and will respond.

Ethan: This is one where I am going to go out on a limb. First of all, I am pretty sure it is going to be a lot tighter than people realize. Much of the polling has asked the wrong question, claiming the bill will “make it a crime” as opposed to simply saying it will ban the practice. That language seems to be pushing the no side a lot higher than reality. Either way, I believe this race will be decided by just a couple of points.

Phil: In which direction?


Ethan: I predicted a year ago that the Yes side would win, and I am holding pat (you seeing a pattern here). The final count will be 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent. A big upset from current prognostications.

Phil: If you are correct, it will be because southern Maine overwhelms the northern voters, which would ignite the simmered debate of northern Maine seceding from the south.

Ethan: Well, that’s it. By next week at this time, one of us will have egg all over our faces.

Phil: But we will both be able to get a little more sleep.

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