In a speech to a meeting of the conservative Informed Women’s Network in Falmouth last week, Governor Paul LePage declared that he was ahead in the polls with “a very strong lead,” despite his refusal to moderate his views.
“So, when you go to polls the best advice I can give you about politics in the United States, both at the federal level and the state level is question your candidate and tell them that you will hold them accountable and, believe me, that works,” LePage told the crowd.
“It doesn’t on Susan, I don’t think so,” interjected a member of the audience.
“Let me tell you about Susan and Olympia. The only way you survive a long time in Maine politics is you sit the fence and if you don’t, like I’ll be lucky for a full term,” said LePage to laughter from the crowd. “I lead the polls with a strong lead right now, a very strong lead,” he then reassured them.
If there are current polls that show LePage winning, they must be internal to his campaign. The last three public, independent polls have all shown Congressman Mike Michaud, the governor’s Democratic opponent, leading LePage by a margin of between three and six percentage points.
National election analysts vary in their assessment of the race, from toss-up to tilt Democratic to lean Democratic and note that the independent candidacy of Eliot Cutler will be a wild card in the campaign.
I’ll have more substantive and policy-related statements from the recording of the event over the next few days, but I thought you might enjoy this look at how LePage thinks about his own chances for re-election. This statement reminds me of some of those coming from the inner circle of the Mitt Romney campaign, who were absolutely convinced, right up until election night last year, that the public polls were wrong and that they were going to win.