BANGOR, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage is among the most vulnerable governors who are up for re-election in 2014, according to a well-known New York Times political blog.
Thirty-two governors are up for re-election in 2014. Of them, LePage ranks sixth for his net job disapproval rating — the difference between those who approve of the job he is doing and those who disapprove.
LePage had a net job approval rating of negative 12, according to the FiveThirtyEight blog.
LePage is among governors who “lead states that were carried by President Obama in both 2008 and 2012. All were helped by favorable political winds in 2010 that no longer blow so hard,” writes Micah Cohen on the blog hosted by Nate Silver, who gained national acclaim for using statistical analysis to predict correct outcomes for the 2012 presidential election in all 50 states.
Brent Littlefield, LePage’s political adviser, dismissed Cohen’s analysis as being based on poll data that skews in favor of Democrats and liberal groups.
“National and local political pundits also said Paul LePage had no chance to win his primary election in June of 2010 that propelled him to the governorship,” Littlefield wrote in an email to the BDN. “One thing that we do agree on from the most recent ‘public/free’ poll is that a large majority of Maine people agree with the governor’s policies.”
The governor’s latest job approval rating is 43 percent, according to a poll released last week.
“The two most unpopular governors up for re-election in 2014 are Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, an independent, and Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois, a Democrat,” Cohen writes.
“But the remaining eight governors with net negative job approval ratings are Republicans, including four who rode the Tea Party wave to power in blue and purple states in 2010 and now appear to be in some danger: Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Gov. Paul LePage of Maine and Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan.”
A Maine poll released last week showed that LePage would win a three-way race in November against independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat and former governor John Baldacci. That poll indicated that Cutler would lead LePage by roughly 8 percentage points if Cutler ran as a Democrat. However, almost one in four of the respondents to the question laying out that scenario listed “other” or “don’t know” as their choice.
Littlefield said Monday that internal polling for the LePage campaign in 2010 showed that the Republican would have beaten Democrat Libby Mitchell in a two-person race that year. “This is not reflected in the post-2010 spin put out by Cutler or the Maine Democratic Party,” Littlefield said.
LePage has not officially declared that he will run for re-election in 2014, although he has formed a committee and is raising money.