Monday, December 2, 2013

And Then There Were Two?


Republican Sen. Susan Collins won't be unopposed on the primary ballot.

The head of a group that opposed same-sex marriage in Maine says he'll offer a conservative voice in the GOP primary. Erick Bennett, director of the Maine Equal Rights Center, said he’s filing his paperwork Monday.

Predictably, there's already been more focus on Bennett's quirks--particularly from Maine journalists--than there's been on his policy positions, his standing with Maine Republican voters or his high profile activism.

Which is not to say reporters are wrong to paint Bennett as something other than a mainstream figure.

But of course the GOP isn't a mainstream party. And its primary electorate is even further to the right than its leadership.

So no one really knows for sure how this will turn out.

Granted: Collins may beat Bennett in a rout. She certainly ought to given the size of her war chest, the disparity in campaign experience and the amount of time she's had to prepare for exactly this challenge.

But if she wipes the floor with him, it will likely be because she ran a smart campaign--painting herself as inevitable, discrediting Bennett via whispers, playing the Maine media like a fiddle--rather than because she's closer to Republican primary voters on the issues than he is.

No comments: