Augusta, Maine — Earlier this year, former state legislator Cory Wilson approached the door of voters who represented the exact type needed to return to the Maine legislature.
Like the candidate, the man was a veteran. After Donald Trump became president, he left the Republican Party. The man told Wilson that he knew all of his stances on major issues, and they agreed on all of them, but made a pact to vote against all Republicans in 2022.
“I will vote for you next cycle, but not this time,” Wilson elaborated on what the man said.
Wilson had a great election for Maine’s Democrats last week, winning congressional districts over Winthrop and Reedfield, losing to Winthrop Democrat Tavis Hassenfuss. Gov. Janet Mills defeated former Gov. Paul Lepage and Democrats retained Congress after Rep. Jared Golden of the 2nd District retained her seat and many predicted big gains for Republicans.
The results were spectacular as the Democrats ran during the midterm elections of President Joe Biden, which was unpopular during a period of high inflation. Overshadowed by Trump’s proposal to potentially declare a third presidential election on Tuesday.
Republicans were betting big that a turbulent economy would lead them to victory, and a national exit poll led by the Associated Press confirmed it was the most important issue on voters’ minds. party members falsely claimed that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
Wilson was elected to the House of Representatives representing the Augusta half for one term in 2012 but did not run for re-election and is now an atypical Republican living in Leadfield. He defended gun rights on the state capitol. He also opposed LePage for helping expand Medicaid. Although he is personally against abortion, he supports the right to abortion on the grounds of individual freedom.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case in June, he received many personal messages from voters asking about his position on the issue. Candidates attributed Tuesday’s results to a “silent majority” of voters, including many in the middle of the electorate, by consensus Republican social standing and Trump-style election denial.
“There was no doubt that Donald Trump had done a lot of damage,” he said. “I think Republicans need to wake up and realize that if the Republican Party is led by Donald Trump, it’s going nowhere.”
Republican leaders in Maine have been silent since Election Day. The State Party is “gathering information” and will compile regular reports on strengths and weaknesses, executive director Jason Savage said in a statement.
Neither LePage nor Poliquin have spoken publicly since the election night rally. The former governor gave a bitter speech to supporters, calling Mills an elitist and accusing voters of prioritizing abortion rights over “supporting a family” and the cost of kerosene.
“I’m saying I shouldn’t have gotten into politics,” he said.
There are well-worn parallels between LePage and Trump. LePage likened his style to Trump’s when she endorsed him in 2016. But LePage held off Trump ahead of this election and never said whether he thought the 2024 White House return proposal was a good idea.
The next presidential election hinges on debate among Republicans about the results of the Maine election. Other potential candidates could expand the former president’s base, Matthew Gagnon, CEO of the conservative Maine Policy Institute, said on the WGAN show.
Mills beat LePage by 13 percentage points and bombarded the growing Portland suburbs. For example, he beat Scarborough in his 2014 by 6 points behind him. Trump lost in 2016 by 16 points and in 2020 by 29 points. This time, Lepage lost by a staggering 33 points to him.
Of Trump’s appeal to working-class voters, Gagnon said, “You have to be able to find something that appeals to the man who lives in Yarmouth and a way to make that connection.
Republicans in Maine need a new standard bearer. Senator Susan Collins is the last high-level elected member of the party. Although she consistently won majorities in Maine, she didn’t matter in elections here. Last Sunday, in Pennsylvania, he campaigned alongside TV doctor Mehmet Oz and lost to Democrat John Fetterman.
LePage, 74, is usually expected to leave the stage. His strategist, Brent Littlefield, declined to answer questions about whether he, who once lived in Florida, would continue to live here or engage in civic life in Maine. will go into the rank choice count alongside Golden, but the incumbent is expected to win easily.
Legislative Republicans are shaking their leaders. Republican Presque Senator Trey Stewart of his Isle will head his caucuses after Polyquin kicks him out of a bid for the Second District. Five House Republicans vie for the top spot: Auburn’s Laurel Libby, Turner’s Josh Morris, Winter Harbor’s Billy Bob Fokingham, Madison’s Jack Ducharm and Chelsea’s Michael Lemelin. There is
The Republican billboard, message and socially conservative platform needs to change, said Newport attorney and former House Majority Leader Ken Fredett. He likened the party’s situation to that of corporations pouring money.
“We may see the death of a well-known Republican in Maine,” he said.