ME SEN: Sabato pulls the plug on Tom Allen
Larry Sabato was the last pundit in America to give Allen a chance.
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Political analyst and election guru Larry Sabato had high hopes for Tom Allen. The Democratic Congressman from Maine is challenging incumbent Republican Susan Collins, and the news has been a little rough from the get-go. Nevertheless, it’s taken a year or more of steady proof to finally show Sabato the light.Collins has led in fundraising every quarter since the race began, over a year ago. Polls have shown a consistent double-digit lead for Collins, including a recent poll that showed her ahead by 25 points.
Pundits that saw Maine as a possible pickup for Democrats in a bad year for the GOP have dropped off one at a time over the last few months. For example, Chris Cilizza of WashingtonPost.com tossed the Maine contest out the door two months ago, after initially pegging the race as the sixth most competitive in the nation.
Now Larry Sabato is abandoning hope in Maine, another terrible indicator for a campaign team that must at least be good at taking bad news by now. Here is Sabato’s eulogy:
Politics can be just like fishing. You can have the best equipment, find the best location, and have the perfect conditions, but sometimes, the fish just aren’t biting. That’s how Maine Democrat Tom Allen feels right about now. Once considered one of the top recruits of the cycle, Allen seemed poised to unseat yet another Northeastern Republican in Senator Susan Collins. He has the fundraising ($2.75 million cash on hand), the name ID, and the national mood at his back, but Allen just can’t seem to make the sales pitch to Maine voters.A recent poll shows Collins holding a commanding 53 to 37 lead which has not changed since the campaign began. To be sure, Collins has not committed a fireable offense, but neither did Senators DeWine or Chafee in 2006, yet both found themselves unemployed last November. This cycle, Collins has done a better job of consolidating independent and moderate Republican support from headliners like Joe Lieberman (aside: does he endorse Democrats anymore?), John McCain, and George Bush Sr. to inoculate herself from the poisonous national mood. Thus far, Allen’s attempts to tie her to the Bush administration have fallen flat, and if he doesn’t fundamentally reshape Maine’s electoral landscape, so too will his bid for the Senate.