|Rep. Mike Michaud (D)|
[photo by S.V. Lowery]
|Gob. Paul LePage ®|
[photo 2011 by MattGagnon
|Eliot Cutler (I)|
[photo 2010 by BMRR,
new solutions to the state's political and economic problems. (Cutler's promotional ad can be found at: http://www.cutlerformaine.com)
Mr. Cutler and Mr. LePage have competed against each other before. Mr. LePage won the 2010 election with only a little over 38% of the vote to become governor. There were five candidates in all, including a Democrat and three independents besides Mr. LePage. Mr. Cutler won almost as many votes as Mr. LePage, but in a Maine election, "almost" doesn't matter. Maine allows the winning candidate to take office, even if the winner does not have 50% or more of the votes.
Each campaign may also have a negative message about the other candidates. So far, there have been few "attack ads," but in September and October, political ads will probably include attacks on candidates or their positions.
Variations of these images and messages appear in all of the many campaigns underway this off-year election season. U.S. voters are not awfully interested in mid-term elections. Voter turnout in most states will be low. People often say, "It doesn't matter who wins. Why take the trouble to vote?" Without the excitement of a presidential race, off-year elections generate little interest.