Maine 2nd Congressional District challenger Kevin Raye secured what his campaign calls a key endorsement even as a self-described independent, nonpartisan election analyst predicted his opponent, U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, would win re-election in November.
Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Cook Political Report boast success rates with their endorsed candidates or predicted race winners of at least 85 percent.
The Chamber endorsed Raye, who co-owns a mustard mill in Eastport with his wife Karen, lauding the Perry Republican’s “record of support on pro-business issues,” while Cook predicted victory for Michaud, a Democrat from East Millinocket.
“We believe that your election to the U.S. House of Representatives will help produce sustained economic growth, help create more jobs and get our country back on track,” Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce, said of Raye.
As Maine Senate President, Raye worked to pass a bipartisan tax cut that is the largest in the state’s history, introduced Maine’s New Markets Tax Credit that is resulting in job creation at a planned torrefied wood pellet facility in Millinocket, and successfully enacted tax reforms to spur job growth in Maine’s aviation industry, according to the Chamber’s statement. Raye also sponsored LD 1, Maine’s bipartisan regulatory reform law that passed the Maine Senate by a vote of 35-0 and the Maine House of Representatives by a vote of 147-3.
The Chamber supports candidates who work for policies to encourage economic growth, job creation and a less intrusive federal government, Donohue said, and it boasts an impressive endorsement record.
In 2010, Donohue said, Chamber-endorsed candidates won more than 85 percent of their elections.
Meanwhile, The Cook Political Report changed its evaluation of the 2nd Congressional District race this week from a “likely D” — or a likely Democratic Party win — to a “sure D.”
“In 2002, Michaud defeated state Sen. Kevin Raye by only 9,000 votes. But Michaud has now had 10 years of incumbency to solidify his brand, and this year, national Republicans privately admit the rematch just isn’t close,” The Cook Report website states.
The Cook Report, meanwhile, has a success rate of at least 85.7 percent in 11 of the last 13 elections in which it leaned in favor of a candidate between July 1 and Aug. 31 of that election year, according to James E. Campbell, chairman of the Political Science Department at the State University of New York-Buffalo.
In those elections, districts predicted to be solidly Democratic or Republican between July 1 and Aug. 30 of the election year proved to be so 99.8 percent of the time. Correct predictions came from Cook 94.9 percent of the time in races where Cook judged a “likely” winner, according to Campbell.