Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Republicans praise independent candidate in bid to win Maine gubernatorial election

A new ad from the Republican Governors Association begins by attacking Maine gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud (D) for sponsoring a Social Security bill in the state legislature. But instead of pivoting from there to endorse incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage, the ad spotlights, in a favorable frame, the independent candidate in the race, Eliot Cutler.

The ad never even mentions LePage at all.

It's no mistake, but rather part of a larger campaign by Republicans to quietly boost Cutler — the state GOP put out mailers praising him this month — in hopes he'll steal away votes from Michaud among the anti-LePage crowd. Polls have found LePage and Michaud running dead even, with Cutler a distant third.