Re: “Election’s outcome redefines the ‘two Maines’ “ (Nov. 14):

What a hoot that Portland Mayor Michael Brennan cannot understand why the rest of Maine does not wish to pay for his wanton spending programs.

Just as humorous is columnist Bill Nemitz’s realization that there is a fundamental difference in philosophies between the population centers, most particularly Portland, and the rural parts of the state. This trend has been evident on a nationwide basis for quite some time.

Actually, the Maine coastline voted blue with but few exceptions from the bottom of the state up to Bar Harbor. These are among the wealthiest towns in the state where taxes on incomes and property are above the state averages.

If Mr. Brennan wishes to better understand his party’s defeat earlier this month, he can take note of the almost identical voting pattern on Question 1.

The referendum proposed a ban on bear baiting, whereby residents of the Maine coastline voted strongly in favor while the rest of Maine successfully turned the proposal aside.

By allowing the Humane Society of the United States to put the bear-baiting proposal on the ballot, Democrats created fear among hunters concerned about threats of gun control and limits on hunting, energizing that crowd to action. It is probably a safe bet that many in this group lean to the right politically.

So in an election that saw a record turnout, those opposing the bear-baiting ban prevailed by almost 44,000 votes.

Take Portland out of the equation on both sides, and the “no” votes would have won by 54,000. Gov. Paul LePage won by 32,000 votes but would have taken the election by 46,000 votes if we exclude Portland.

It is quite possible that the Democrats could have prevailed in their bid to unseat Gov. LePage had they prevented Question 1 from being on the ballot.

Michael A. Smith