When Democrats heard that Maine Senator Olympia Snowe was retiring at the end of 2012, they couldn’t believe their luck. With a moderate Republican not running for reelection, the seat was prime for a potential party flip.
Now, it looks like there may be a problem.
Angus King, former governor of the state, has announced he’s running as an Independent. With a heavy personal bankroll to dip into and a moderate stance, he has the potential to play spoiler and split up what could have been a Democratic upset.
Maine Democrats had been counting on Rep. Chellie Pingree to come in and swoop up the seat, but with King’s announcement, Pingree is still sitting on the fence. “This is an extremely important election and a lot is at stake, including the control of the U.S. Senate. While I have been humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support encouraging me to run, I’m going to continue thinking very carefully about whether or not I should enter this race, and will take all the factors into consideration before deciding how I can best serve the people of Maine.”
A three way race gave Maine Republican Governor Paul LaPage in 2010, as the Independent and Democratic candidates split up the liberal and moderate vote. Will the same happen with the senate seat?
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