United States Senate election in Maine, 2012
|Elections in Maine|
The 2012 United States Senate election in Maine was held on November 6, 2012, alongside a presidential election, other elections to the United States Senate in other states, as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Despite initially being in the race early on and poised to easily win, popular Republican U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe suddenly decided to retire instead of running for re-election to a fourth term. Former Independent Governor Angus King won the open seat.
- 1 Background
- 2 Republican primary
- 3 Democratic primary
- 4 General election
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Incumbent Olympia Snowe won re-election to a third term in 2006 with 74.01% of the vote over Democrat Jean Hay Bright and independent Bill Slavick. Due to the unpopularity of some of Snowe's votes among conservative voters, namely for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and initial support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there was speculation that she would face competition in the 2012 Republican primary from more conservative challengers. The Tea Party Express had promised to aid in a primary against Snowe. There had also been speculation that Snowe would switch parties, though she has always denied this. By June 2011, Snowe had officially entered her name with signatures to run in the Republican primary, saying, she "would never switch parties".
However on February 28, 2012, Snowe announced that she would be retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of her term, citing the "atmosphere of polarization and 'my way or the highway' ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions" as the reason for her retirement. Her announcement opened the door for candidates from all parties and creating a much more contested 2012 election.
The primary election was held on June 12.
- Richard A. Bennett, former President of the Maine Senate
- Scott D'Amboise, former Lisbon Falls Selectman
- Deborah Plowman, State Senator
- Bruce Poliquin, Maine State Treasurer
- William Schneider, Maine Attorney General
- Charlie Summers, Maine Secretary of State
- Andrew Ian Dodge, conservative activist (running as an independent)
- Olympia Snowe, incumbent U.S. senator (retiring)
- Steve Abbott, athletic director at the University of Maine and Republican candidate for Governor of Maine in 2010
- Peter Cianchette, Republican nominee for Governor of Maine in 2002 and former United States Ambassador to Costa Rica
- William Cohen, former United States Secretary of Defense and former U.S. Senator
- Peter Mills, Executive Director of the Maine Turnpike Authority, former state senator and Republican candidate for Governor of Maine in 2002 and in 2006
- Kevin Raye, President of the Maine Senate (running for U.S. House of Representatives)
|MPRC||March 31–April 2, 2012||318||±5.49%||7.1%||3.9%||5.7%||12%||3.9%||27.6%||—||39.7%|
|Republican primary results|
On the ballot
- Cynthia Dill, State Senator
- Matthew Dunlap, former Maine Secretary of State
- Jon Hinck, State Representative
- Benjamin Pollard, homebuilder
- John Baldacci, former Governor of Maine, former U.S. Representative
- Emily Cain, Minority leader of the Maine House of Representatives
- Mike Michaud, U.S. representative
- Chellie Pingree, U.S. representative and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in 2002
|Maine People's Resource Center||March 31 – April 2, 2012||415||± 4.8%||20.3%||16.7%||6.2%||1.9%||—||54.8%|
|Democratic primary results|
- Danny Dalton (Non-Party), former Federal employee, small business owner
- Cynthia Dill (Democratic), State Senator and former State Representative
- Andrew Ian Dodge (Independent), conservative activist affiliated with the Libertarian Party of Maine
- Angus King (Independent), former Governor of Maine
- Benjamin Pollard (Write-In), homebuilder (lost Democratic primary)
- Charlie Summers (Republican), Secretary of State of Maine and former State Senator
- Steve Woods (Independent), Chairman of Yarmouth Town Council and CEO of TideSmart Global
The second debate was held September 17, 2012. Topics included President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, energy policy, gun control, capital gains taxes and whether the Senate is broken.
The group Maine People's Alliance called on Charles Summers to resign his position as Secretary of State of Maine, stating that it was a conflict of interest for the secretary of state to oversee their own election to another office. They also had concerns over past actions in sending letters to college students about voter registration requirements. A spokesperson for Summers said that he had turned over all election oversight to a deputy Secretary of State, and Summers himself stated that he was not going to resign. No Secretary of State or Maine Attorney General who was seeking higher office in the last 30 years has resigned.
Steve Woods announced on August 1 that, if elected, he would donate his entire Senate salary to Maine charities chosen by an independent committee of business and nonprofit leaders he would appoint. He encouraged Angus King to make a similar pledge; King responded through his spokesperson that he and his wife would continue to donate money to charities, and that all candidates should do so in "the best way they feel they can."
Steve Woods met with Angus King on June 13 to discuss a proposal by Woods for either man to leave the race if it appeared one or the other was not going to win, in order to avoid being a spoiler candidate. Woods specifically cited the 2010 Maine Gubernatorial election as well as the 2000 presidential election as examples of what could result from a fragmented electorate. King stated that while he had not fully considered Woods' proposal, he didn't think he was a spoiler, in that "If I thought that, I wouldn't be running." Woods said that regardless of whether or not King accepted the proposal, he likely would abide by it and endorse King in late October if it appeared he would not win. Woods did indeed drop out and endorsed King on November 4, stating that King had the "highest degree of integrity to represent all Mainers". Woods' name, however, remained on the ballot.
Campaign spending issues
On June 13, Angus King held a press conference and stated that he would discourage campaign spending by outside groups if his opponents would agree to do the same. King criticized such spending as "a tidal wave of anonymous campaign expenditures that distort our political process." His proposed agreement is modeled on a similar agreement between Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and his opponent Elizabeth Warren, which requires them, if outside money is spend on their behalf, to donate an equivalent amount of money to the charity of their opponent's choice. Democrat Cynthia Dill criticized the proposal as lacking "detail or substance" but added that she "looked forward to seeing a proposed agreement." Republican Charles Summers did not state whether he would accept King's proposal or not but criticized King for discussing campaign finance instead of issues like the economy and government spending. Andrew Ian Dodge called such an agreement "unworkable", while Steve Woods said he would abide by such an agreement.
In a letter to King, Dill again stated that she was open to an agreement on limiting outside spending in the race, but she also called on King to support measures the candidates can take themselves to limit campaign spending. These include pledging to not finance their campaigns themselves and limiting contributions to $500. Dill also called on King to take stands on a variety of campaign finance legislation, such as the DISCLOSE Act. King told the Bangor Daily News the prior week that he does support increased disclosure requirements for super-PACs, but did not specifically say he supports the DISCLOSE Act. King is so far the only candidate to benefit from super-PAC money, as a group called icpurple Inc. spent $24,000 making an online advertisement for King. King stated that as part of his proposal, he would ask the group to take the ads down.
Danny Dalton stated on June 14 that he would not accept any campaign donations whatsoever, in order to assure constituents that he will represent everyone equally.
Steve Woods pledged to not spend more than $1.3 million on his campaign, or roughly $1 per Maine resident, including campaign donations and his own money. He stated, "If I can't get my message out and if the public isn't interested in that message, to spend more would be egregious."
On July 18, King was criticized for attending a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., where he raised money from PACs and other donors. Republicans said King's actions were "the height of hypocrisy" for speaking out against PAC money and raising it at the same time, while Cynthia Dill criticized King as an "insider who is working the system". King defended his actions by stating that he "took no joy" in them but that it was necessary for him to raise money to defend himself in the "dogfight" he expects. King also reiterated his support of changing campaign finance laws and said that he was making no promises to donors.
|Andrew Ian Dodge|
|Candidate (party)||Receipts||Disbursements||Cash on hand||Debt|
|Angus King (I)||$937,694||$434,250||$503,444||$37,742|
|Charlie Summers (R)||$294,081||$174,082||$119,289||$55,000|
|Cynthia Dill (D)||$104,512||$75,988||$28,521||$5,698|
|Source: Federal Election Commission|
Top contributors by employer
|Angus King||Contribution||Charlie Summers||Contribution||Cynthia Dill||Contribution|
|Lee Auto Mall||$15,000||Alamo PAC||$10,000||Auto Europe||$2,500|
|Bernstein Shur||$13,300||Kelly PAC||$10,000||Thornton Academy||$2,500|
|Bowdoin College employees||$11,500||Making Business Excel PAC||$5,000||Southern Maine Community College||$2,500|
|Elevation Partners||$10,000||Royal Shell Real Estate||$5,000||Jones Day||$2,000|
|Lee Auto Mall-Auburn||$10,000||White Rock Distilleries||$5,000||Quimby Foundation||$2,000|
|International Union of Operating Engineers||$10,000||D&G Machine Products||$3,000||City of Middletown Connecticut||$1,000|
|Spectrum Health||$8,950||3M Co.||$2,500||Mill to the Hill PAC $1,000||$1,000|
|Pierce Atwood LLP||$8,500||Doyle Group||$2,500|
|Martin's Point Health Care||$8,250||Speedway Motorsports, Inc.||$2,500|
|Eaton Peabody||$6,000||Moulison North||$2,500|
|Angus King||Contribution||Charlie Summers||Contribution||Cynthia Dill||Contribution|
|Retired||$117,500||Leadership PACs||$25,000||Lawyers/Law Firms||$3,850|
|Lawyers/Law Firms||$56,600||Misc Business||$23,500||Retired||$2,550|
|Financial Institutions||$37,250||Retired||$12,000||Health Professionals||$2,500|
|Real Estate||$26,600||Real Estate||$6,000||Non-Profit Institutions||$2,000|
|Automotive Industry||$25,000||Manufacturing & Distributing||$5,500||Women's Issues||$1,500|
|Misc Finance||$24,750||Alcohol industry||$5,000||Civil Servants/Public Officials||$1,250|
|Education||$20,960||General Contractors||$3,000||Leadership PACs||$1,000|
|Misc Business||$20,750||Business Services||$2,750||Misc Business||$500|
|Health Professionals||$19,450||Telecommunications industry||$2,500||Construction Industry||$500|
|Maine People's Resource Center||November 1–3, 2012||905||± 3.26%||34%||10.7%||47.6%||4.5%||3.3%|
|Public Policy Polling||November 1–2, 2012||1,633||± 2.4%||36%||12%||50%||—||2%|
|Portland Press Herald/Critical Insights||October 30–31, 2012||613||± 4%||33%||11%||49%||—||7%|
|Pan Atlantic SMS||September 24–28, 2012||400||± 4.9%||24%||12%||50%||—||14%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 25, 2012||500||± 4.5%||33%||14%||45%||1%||7%|
|Public Policy Polling||September 17–18, 2012||804||± 3.5%||35%||14%||43%||—||8%|
|Maine People's Resource Center||September 15–17, 2012||856||± 3.35%||28%||15%||44%||6%||7%|
|Portland Press Herald/Critical Insights||September 12–16, 2012||618||± 4%||28%||12%||50%||3%||8%|
|Moore Consulting||August 5–6, 2012||500||± n/a||28%||8%||46%||—||—|
|Portland Press Herald/Critical Insights||June 20–25, 2012||615||± 4%||27%||7%||55%||1%||9%|
|WBUR TV/MassInc Polling Group||June 13–14, 2012||506||± 4.4%||23%||9%||50%||1%||17%|
|United States Senate election in Maine, 2012|
|Libertarian||Andrew Ian Dodge||5,543||0.80%||n/a|
|Independent gain from Republican||Swing|
- United States Senate elections, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections in Maine, 2012
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- Peoples, Steve (February 10, 2011). "Tea Party Express Names Snowe as Its Next Moderate Republican Target". Roll Call. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
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- "Former Gov. John Baldacci will not run for Snowe’s U.S. Senate seat". Bangor Daily News. March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- Du Houx, Ramona (December 14, 2011). "Rep. Emily Cain will run for State Senate". MaineInsights.com. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- Russell, Eric (March 1, 2012). "Michaud to stay in House race; Republicans cautiously considering Senate seat". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
- "Pingree won't run for U.S. Senate | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". Pressherald.com. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- Stone, Matthew (May 29, 2012). "King submits signatures to qualify for Senate ballot". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- "Independent candidate for US Senate says he won’t accept campaign donations". Bangor Daily News. June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
- "Dodge qualifies as independent U.S. Senate candidate". May 30, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
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- "Independent Steve Woods leaves Senate race, endorses King". Bangordailynews.com. 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- Cousins, Christopher (2012-06-13). "Angus King pledges to discourage super-PAC money if his opponents do the same — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Bangordailynews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
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- Dill Campaign Finances
- King Campaign Finances
- [http://www.opensecrets.org/races/contrib.php?cycle=2012&id=MES1 Center for Responsive Politics
- "Federal Election Commission".
- Donors by Industry (opensecrets.org)
- Elections Division from the Maine Secretary of State
- Campaign contributions at OpenSecrets.org
- Outside spending at the Sunlight Foundation
- Candidate issue positions at On the Issues
- Official campaign websites
- Danny Dalton for U.S. Senate
- Cynthia Dill for U.S. Senate
- Andrew Ian Dodge for U.S. Senate
- Angus King for U.S. Senate
- Charles Summers for U.S. Senate
- Steve Woods for U.S. Senate