LePage rips ‘PC’ Clinton, predicts Trump will win Maine

Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage has made a prediction about the results of the presidential race in Maine: Donald Trump will secure three of Maine’s four electoral votes.

LePage, who has said recently he won’t speak to reporters anymore, told a reporter for Brietbart News, a conservative national outlet, that Trump will win the state overall, in addition to besting Hillary Clinton in the 2nd Congressional District. Since Maine is one of two states that splits its electoral votes — though it never has — that would give Trump three votes: Two for winning Maine and one for the 2nd District. The fourth vote, according to LePage’s prediction, would go to Clinton for winning the more liberal 1st Congressional District in southern Maine.

LePage drew parallels between Trump’s rise and his own: Americans want to hear the “plain truth,” not the “political correct truth.”

“The American people are getting it now,” said LePage. “They are tired of the smooth-talking, slick-talking snake oil salesmen that are called ‘politicians.’ The American people want the plain truth and it is that simple. … Hillary and her crowd can be as PC as they want, but they are going to be on the outside looking in in November.”

LePage could very well be correct. A new poll released this week by Colby College and The Boston Globe shows Trump with a 10-point lead in the 2nd Congressional District and within a few points of Clinton statewide. Although the survey sample size is small — as is the case with most Maine polls this year — the new poll is the first to show Trump ahead by more than the margin of error in the 2nd District.

Talk of Maine’s place in the election landscape — and whose paths to victory could come through the Pine Tree State — is common in presidential election years, but perhaps more intense now than it has been in the past. At about this time in 2012, Republican nominee Mitt Romney led by 5 points in the 2nd District and trailed Barack Obama by only 4 points statewide. Obama ended up with all four electoral votes on his path to the presidency.

Are you wanting more speculation about how the presidential race will turn out? There’s a lot out there but this one from the Cook Political Report (written by a Colby College alum) is especially interesting because it contemplates Maine’s role in the election both ways: as both a red and blue state. There’s even a scenario where Clinton wins Maine but the electoral race ends up in a 269-269 tie.

The takeaway? Make sure you make time to vote this year. You alone could sway the election. — Christopher Cousins

Quick hits

  • Clinton cash: A fundraiser event in Cape Elizabeth on Thursday evening with vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine netted substantial donations, according to a Clinton aide who provided the information on the condition of anonymity. The aide said approximately 200 attendees paid between $1,000 to $2,700 to attend; the hosts raised more than $10,000 and the chairs of the event raised more than $33,400.
  • Tribal protest: In concert with a wider, national effort, representatives from the Penobscot Nation and others will gather Saturday in Portland in protest of a proposal to build the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline across four states and under the Missouri River. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. in Congress Square Park.

Reading list

Dire warnings from political fund raising emails

Last year, the Daily Brief looked at how national political groups are hounding us for donations and what they do to snare our attention in our email inboxes. The emails have continued since then with subject lines that suggest everything from the apocalypse to slight inconveniences. Here are a few of my recent “favorites.”

  • “Kiss everything goodbye.” That’s from Vice President Joe Biden, who ought to know. Aaaaaahhhhhh!! Even goats? Please not the goats, Joe, especially the baby ones!
  • “Major trouble.” But it can be avoided with a donation of just $8, according to the Democrats Win Seats PAC.
  • “*eye roll*” I expected to see a teenager who’s too cool for the rest of us in this email, but it turns out the Republicans are going to “punish” Democrats for their sit-in on gun safety this summer. You can fix the situation by sending some cash to Steny Hoyer’s AmeriPAC.
  • “Democrats OBLITERATED.” It opens with a quote from Barack Obama: “The House — we have a chance to win.” Did I miss something here?
  • “Nate Silver: ‘error.’” The country’s leading data cruncher is invoked here, saying Trump will be president if Clinton loses any one of the following: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado or Virginia. I’m sure losing California would also be bad for Clinton. Right, Nate?
  • “Please read (don’t delete).” I couldn’t resist. I deleted it unread. Sorry, Michelle Obama.
  • “Tomorrow.” That’s from former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich. The message? Kasich will be in Washington D.C. tomorrow. … Sorry I almost passed out. This subject line is not so scary, but maybe not so effective either?
  • “Orono/Bangor, join us for a happy hour!” Now there’s an effective fundraising email subject line, in my opinion, and it comes from Maine’s own Maine Heritage Policy Center. I predict they’ll be well funded in the near future, not to mention well lubricated with cocktails. Here’s their soundtrack. (Disclaimer: The Daily Brief does not condone or suggest drunk driving. Neither does MHPC, I assume.)
  • “Not all disasters are brought to us by nature.” Yeah, that seems highly relevant right about now, but it was just the Maine Emergency Management Agency reminding us that if we’re not worried enough about the weather, there are always “chemical spills, fires, explosions and terrorism” to plan for. Those dangers seem mild compared with what some of the political groups are saying. — Christopher Cousins
Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.