May 20, 2018
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Does interest translate into votes? See which candidates people are reading about

Daryn Slover | Sun Journal
Daryn Slover | Sun Journal
Six candidates participate in the Republican U.S. Senate candidate forum at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston on Wednesday. From left are Attorney General William Schneider, state Sen. Debra Plowman, State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, Rick Bennett of Oxford, Scott D'Amboise of Lisbon and Secretary of State Charles Summers.
By William Davis, BDN Staff

It’s the day before the election, and as we finalize our coverage plans for the following day, talk around the office traditionally turns to who will come out on top when the polls close.

This year we offer one more way to cloud any predictions: A look at the traffic each candidate has received so far as part of our elections guide.

These numbers are not scientific — we really can’t stress that enough — but as is often the case with political navel-gazing we just can’t help but try to gain any indication of the interest around candidates.

The race that’s getting the most traffic on is the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Currently, Rick Bennett leads the way with 20.6 percent of traffic to those pages despite not having been in the public eye for quite a while and perhaps not having the name recognition that others enjoy. Deb Plowman is second with 18.2 percent. The higher profile Republicans — Bruce Poliquin, Charlie Summers and Bill Schneider — lag with about 15 percent each, though it remains to be seen if that’s because people already have their minds made up about those candidates:

Next is the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Cynthia Dill, of Cape Elizabeth, is the leader in the traffic race there with 37.6 percent, well ahead of Old Town resident Matt Dunlap. This could be a bad sign for Dunlap, who one would think would see higher traffic by virtue of the fact that the BDN website’s audience is slightly stronger in the Bangor area than in the Portland area. But Dill’s high traffic could also be attributed to some of the controversy surrounding her, including her support of Roxanne Quimby’s proposal for a North Woods national park:

The candidates for the Republican nomination for each of the U.S. House districts — Patrick Calder and Jon Courtney in the 1st District and Kevin Raye and Blaine Richardson in the 2nd District — are both effectively tied for page views.

What do you think? Will these stats be indicative of the support these candidates will receive on Election Day?

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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