On Wednesday, in our Eye on Politics segment on News Radio 560 WGAN, I was sure my brother from another mother, Ethan Strimling, made statewide news when he said, “In a district where Democrat Bill Diamond is strong, Gov. LePage is as well. He is up by 12 points over Mike Michaud. … This is a classic swing district. He won it back in 2010 by 6 points; now he is up 12 points. So that certainly is stronger for him. … Democrats have got to be very aware that there’s a whole lot of middle Maine out there that’s feeling just as they did about Gov. LePage three years ago.”
Ethan was basing this analysis on a fresh poll by a Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm. I’ll leave it to you to answer the question of why a poll showing Democrat Mike Michaud leading was front page news, and this poll about a Senate district in central Cumberland County has gone relatively unreported.
Be that as it may, it seems to me that the people I cross paths with throughout Maine may just turn out to be the silent votes who determine the outcome of the governor’s election next November. The farther you go out of the liberal-leaning city centers, the more I have people take me aside to say that LePage is tackling the real problems vexing Maine’s economic opportunities.
Sure, they wish he was a more polished speaker. Yet that is secondary to his willingness to roll up his sleeves and take on the tough problems.
Before you conclude that I’m just rooting for the home team, consider this: Just 34 percent of people surveyed in the district said they were Republicans, yet LePage garnered support from 42 percent of those polled. Some independents — and maybe even some Democrats — are pulling for LePage.
While it may not be on the front page, at least you heard it here.