There has been a lot of gloating and celebrating, both stateside and across the Nation, concerning the dismal poll numbers that Senator Susan Collins is facing should she choose to run for Governor of the state of Maine. I can understand the glee. Collins has thumbed her nose at conservatives in the Republican party, specifically here in Maine, for some time now. The perceived comeuppance is a shot of a heady euphoric to the tortured conservatives of Maine.
If only it were true. You forget, this is Maine. This is the state of browbeaten conservatives with liberals and progressives infiltrated to every facet of our political landscape. Libertarians, Republicans, and Independents are all havens to Maine’s strongest political force, Stealth Democrats and Liberals.
With social and fiscal conservatives shackled to the Republican Party like a battered slave with Stockholm Syndrome meekly rejoicing every election cycle when the GOP gets religion again and tosses out morsels of lies packaged as campaign promises if we will only hold our nose and vote for their candidate to perpetuity, the stealth liberals have been free to move and manipulate throughout every dark corner of Maine’s political spectrum and solidify an unbeatable system to victory. With little to no resistance to call them out, the Party of Stealth is alive and strong. They control everything.
The system is relatively new. It was concocted by Eliot Cutler and Angus King to usher in the King governorship and new passage for liberals to gain political power. It nearly worked for Cutler against Governor LePage. And it will work for Senator Susan Collins.
The plan is very simplistic which is why it is effective. Run as an Independent to exploit the strong independent fabric of Maine voters, in so doing you catapult over the primary mess that is Maine, and you weaken the establishment parties by culling much of their voters out. If Collins runs as a Republican, she is crushed in the primary which is why she won’t.
Susan Collins is a political machine and a veteran. She has played this game for much longer than those who are prematurely celebrating her demise. So here is a dose of reality.
If numbers hold the way they are for a Republican primary with Collins, she will leave the Party and run Independent. She will skirt the damage of a brutal primary. She will then be able to pull from her voting base, Republican liberals, liberal Independents, and a majority of Democrats.
Conservatives, such as I, may be tempted to gloat her dismal poll numbers. The satisfaction of not having to hold your nose to vote for Collins will be a brief heady high. Much to my chagrin, the prediction is an easy one to make. Susan Collins will be the next Governor of Maine but she will not be Republican.