AUGUSTA, Maine — Democrats may have been too complacent leading up to elections in 2010 when they lost the governor’s office, both chambers of the Maine Legislature and the U.S. House. This time around, though, they’ve learned their lesson, Democrats said Saturday at their state convention at the Augusta Civic Center.
“We got a wake-up call” in 2010, said Timothy Carter, a convention delegate and former state representative from Bethel, “and I think we’ve got to go out and work harder.”
Expect Democrats this election cycle to loudly contest Republican talking points that advocate for tax cuts for top income earners and “trickle-down economics,” Carter said.
“We need to get out the vote,” said Robert Talbot, a delegate from Bangor. “We need to adequately publicize the failures of this Republican leadership and return the civility to the political process.”
“We’re fired up and ready to go,” he added, echoing an Obama campaign refrain.
Delegates interviewed by the Bangor Daily News on Saturday said they plan to talk to voters wherever they are — at the grocery store, going door-to-door, phone banking — and especially young voters.
“I think we need to do everything we did in 2010, but with more excitement,” said Nathan Davis, a 20-year-old delegate from Portland. “We need to reiterate the principles we’ve been saying before.”
“What Democrats need to do is make it clear what we’re going to do if we take back the Legislature,” said delegate Jack Woods of Portland.
Republican victories in 2010 were due to a combination of “complacency, a bad economy and some poor choices” by Democrats, said Roy Gedat, a delegate from Norway.
“We let the state slip into the hands of Republicans, and we need to get it back,” he said.
Those GOP victories were understandable in 2010, said Bill Kenny, a delegate from Cumberland.
“Basically, people were frustrated. They’re fed up,” he said. “They’re looking for change.”
And this time around, that desire for change will work in Democrats’ favor, Kenny said.
“We’re just basically losing the safety net and not taking care of our most vulnerable,” he said. “I think people will come back and say, ‘I don’t want that anymore.’”