AUGUSTA, MAINE – It was announced this week that Hillary Clinton stepped into the Maine gubernatorial race to endorse Democratic nominee Janet Mills. Just a week before the election, the partisan political machine is churning harder to what could end up being a tight race on Election Day.
The reason? Clinton announced several new endorsements in high-profile, tight races nationwide, including an endorsement for Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, about which she said:
Governors set the tone and direction for their states. They’re also our last line of defense against some of the Trump administration’s worst policies. So pick a candidate—or two or three—and help flip one of these 17 races. One week to go.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2018
In other words, it appears that it is not really about who will represent the voters of the states best, but electing a Democrat who will stick it to President Donald Trump.
A new poll — conducted by Emerson College — released Wednesday shows Mills at 50%, while Republican Shawn Moody is at 42%, and independent Terry Hayes was left completely out of the results.
Maine gubernatorial elections have a history of shifting in the final weeks — even days before Election Day — so the results on election night may not mirror the poll results.
For example, independent US Senator Angus King beat out his now Republican Senate colleague, Susan Collins, in the 1994 gubernatorial race to the surprise of partisan political pundits. Independent Eliot Cutler polled low in mid-October 2010, but then nearly beat Paul LePage in the November gubernatorial election.
Endorsements can play a major role in how voters decide who to cast a ballot for. Will Clinton help Mills? Or will voters fed up with outside partisan political machines interjecting themselves in their elections show up and voter another way? We will soon find out.
Maine voters will choose their next governor on Tuesday, November 6.