The PPP Poll
I have been following the reaction to the recent poll about LePage and 2014, and I need to set everyone straight on something. There is a lot of kvetching about “what the Dems should do” and how awful it would be if we caused LePage to be re-elected. The irritating thing about that analysis is that it puts the entire burden on Democrats, and none on Cutler. He’s making a decision, just like us, that has far-reaching consequences. Shouldn’t the issue be put in his lap, just as squarely as folks want to put it in ours? Is it about the future of the state, or is it about your own ambition?
Anyway, about the numbers: they clearly explain that Cutler cannot win a three way race (our internals show this, too). He gets virtually no GOP support and he cannot win base Democrats – meaning he has a low “ceiling.”
What’s more, we are going to run a vigorous campaign, whether it’s a top tier candidate from the outset, or if it’s someone we develop into one. I don’t know how to make this more clear to people, yet it keeps coming up. We are not running a token candidate. We are not making a deal with Cutler. We are not asking him to be a Democrat (not that he would after all the Democrat bashing he’s done during his perpetual campaign). We are going to work on policy issues that put us on the right side of reform and progress, so our campaign is about better ideas. We will be well funded and well supported by the grassroots.
You know what else? It’s time to stop being afraid of Cutler. He doesn’t share a lot of Democratic values, as far as I can tell (larger class sizes anyone?). He worked against the President in 2012. He’s been antagonizing Democrats for 3+ years. He believes magic fairy dust will remake the GOP into some kind of reasonable partner again.
I’m not in a defensive crouch about this race. In many respects, this is just a schoolyard staring contest. What Cutler supporters need to know, and what squeamish Democrats need to know, is that the Party leadership that proved so much in 2012 is ready for the next challenge. And I guarantee you all that we will not blink.