Independent former Gov. Angus King secured a comfortable victory over two challengers in his bid for retiring moderate Republican Olympia Snowe's Senate seat on Tuesday, easily beating Republican Secretary of State Charlie Summers and Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Dill, according to projections from the The New York Times and the Associated Press.
Democrats found themselves in a conundrum with King as the odds-on favorite. Senate Democrats believe that the former governor, who considers himself "unbeholden to parties," would caucus with them when called upon. As a result, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) declined to endorse the low-polling Dill, but couldn't really endorse King outright, causing the group to funnel its money into ads attacking Summers — Maine's Secretary of State and a veteran of the Iraq War. "For all intents and purposes," says Aaron Blake at the Washington Post, this made the former governor the unspoken "Democratic nominee."
Here, some initial reactions to King's victory:
Matt Yglesias at Slate:
Maine Senate race called for Angus King, the candidate with the best idea on the Bush tax cuts: slate.com/blogs/moneybox…
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 7, 2012
Cameron Joseph at The Hill:
AP calls Maine SEN for Angus King. Prob caucuses w Dems — DSCC spent for him, NRSC against — though he's refused to say. To left of Donnelly
— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) November 7, 2012
Niels Lesniewski at Roll Call:
— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) November 7, 2012
Callie Schweitzer, formerly of Talking Points Memo:
— Callie Schweitzer (@cschweitz) November 7, 2012
And some jubiliation from Chris Hayes at MSNBC:
THE ANGUS KING ERA BEGINS!!!!
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 7, 2012