Speed Reads

As Maine Goes…

Firebrand Gov. Paul LePage wins again in Maine

Republican Gov. Paul LePage (R) has been re-elected in Maine — providing yet another example of what a great election night this has been for Republicans.

With 77 percent of the vote in, LePage has 47 percent support, against Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud with 44 percent, plus 8 percent for Eliot Cutler. LePage has been projected as the winner by multiples news outlets including ABC, CBS, and the local Bangor Daily News.

LePage is known for a variety of controversial statements: joking that he would like to blow up a newspaper's building; declaring that President Obama "hates white people"; comparing the Internal Revenue Service to the Nazi Gestapo; and much more. In a state that has preferred moderate politicians of both parties, he seemed especially vulnerable going into this election cycle.

Cutler previously ran in 2010, achieving a narrow second place against LePage and pushing the Democrats into third place. In this race, national Republicans simultaneously attacked Michaud and praised Cutler, in a possible effort to split the anti-LePage vote. Then after Cutler refused to drop out of the race, the state's Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King publicly switched his endorsement from Cutler to Michaud.

In addition, Michaud's loss means that a milestone has failed to occur: Had he won, he would have been the first openly gay candidate to win a gubernatorial election, having publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation during his campaign.