After more than a year of campaigning, endorsements, debates and unprecedented spending, the 2014 election has arrived.

Maine’s three-way race for governor will dominate most ballots, but also at stake are a U.S. Senate seat, two U.S. House seats, a controversial bear-baiting referendum and six bond questions.

Additionally, voters will have a hand in deciding whether Democrats retain majorities in the Maine House and Senate or whether Republicans flip one or both chambers.

And there will be myriad local issues in towns all over the state, including in South Portland and Lewiston, where voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The results there could portend a statewide referendum by 2016.

For a midterm election, there is a lot to consider. Voter turnout – which will be driven by interest in the governor’s race and to a lesser degree the bear-baiting question – could play a big role in the final results.

The gubernatorial race has been a seemingly endless affair but, remarkably, the dynamics have not changed all that much in a year’s time.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud, a six-term congressman, are locked in a race so tight that the winner may not be known until well into Wednesday.

Independent Eliot Cutler, who lost narrowly to LePage four years ago, trails significantly, and last week acknowledged that his chance at victory was all but gone.

L. Sandy Maisel, a longtime professor of government at Colby College in Waterville, said this election has been a referendum on LePage more than anything else, and he thinks that’s been bad for voters.

“I think the governor’s race has been the lowest campaign in terms of quality of dialogue that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I also think the outside ads and the level of spending has been incredibly negative. It’s been divisive and unhelpful.”

As of Oct. 31, roughly $11.5 million in outside money had been spent in the governor’s race and another $2.4 million had been spent on legislative races. The nearly $14 million total is more than 3½ times as much as was spent in 2010. Much of it was spent on negative advertising.

Mark Brewer, a political scientist at the University of Maine, said he expects a close race between LePage and Michaud, and he has not been surprised by how the race has played out.

“LePage has as rock-solid a floor and ceiling as any politician I’ve ever seen,” Brewer said. “Michaud and Cutler voters seem to have had no reason to move one way or the other until the very end, but I do think there has been some movement in the last few days.”

Brewer said Cutler’s statement last week that his supporters should vote for someone else if they are “compelled by fear or their conscience” will have an impact.

“The big questions are: What was Cutler’s support before, how much has melted away and then where has it gone?” Brewer said. “Right now, I would guess Michaud has an edge, but I wouldn’t be stunned if I woke up Wednesday to see LePage elected to a second term. Of the three campaigns, his has been the best.”

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, are almost assured of re-election. The only question will likely be the margins of victory.

Democrat Shenna Bellows has run a spirited campaign against Collins, but her opponent was a powerful and popular incumbent.

“I think she has a bright future, although she may end up being too liberal for Maine,” Maisel said of Bellows.

Pingree did not face much of a challenge in Maine’s heavily Democratic 1st Congressional District against her two little-known challengers, Republican Isaac Misiuk, a 25-year-old college student, and independent Richard Murphy, a National Guardsman with no political experience.

Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race, however, could be as close as the governor’s race.

Although there has not been as much reliable polling in that race, most polls show a tight contest between Democrat Emily Cain, a 10-year veteran of the Maine Legislature, and Republican Bruce Poliquin, former state treasurer under LePage who tried unsuccessfully to run for governor in 2010 and the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Maisel said that if LePage does well in the 2nd District, which polls have shown he will, that would help Poliquin.

The Republican also could benefit from fired-up opponents of Question 1, which seeks to ban bear-baiting and trapping. That referendum has united sportsmen and hunters, who are more likely to vote Republican.

Everyone seems to agree that the close races, particularly the governor’s race, will be decided by which side does a better job of turning out voters. In 2010, 59 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

Absentee ballots cast to date have favored Democrats, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to victories for Democrats.

Acting as an undercard to the governor’s race are the contests to elect Maine’s 35 senators and 151 representatives, who will either have to work with LePage for another term or get acquainted with a new governor.

At the moment, Democrats control the House by about 30 seats and the Senate by five seats.

“Local races are so hard to predict, but I have a hard time seeing Republicans taking back the House,” Brewer said. “I think if LePage gets another term, it will be another bumpy two years in the Legislature until the 2016 election.”

Last week, there were two news events that could play into the election.

The first was the saga involving Fort Kent nurse Kaci Hickox, who fought the state over whether she should be quarantined because of her recent trip to Africa to assist Ebola patients. Brewer said he thought LePage handled the potentially sticky situation well.

The other was Cutler, whose curious announcement on Wednesday was followed by U.S. Sen. Angus King switching his support from Cutler to Michaud. It may have been the break the Michaud campaign needed.

And one last wrinkle: There was an unexpected winter storm that hit Maine on Sunday and left tens of thousands without power.

If some communities are still largely without power on Tuesday, that could affect turnout.