Good morning from Augusta. There are six days until the November election. Here’s your soundtrack.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’re looking at 44 years ago, and it’s kind of hard to remember something like this, but I will tell you something, that is my writing on the napkin,” Ellen Bruzzese, told CBS affiliate WGME about the possibility that she may have been the one to buy Questlove the records he said began his collection at a Portland hotel. Here’s your soundtrack.
What we’re watching today
A new rash of money is pouring into Maine’s U.S. Senate race in the final week, even though there is little indication previous spending has shifted the landscape. Two groups affiliated with Democratic Senate leadership, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Senate Majority PAC, added a combined $10 million in TV ad buys. There is also an indication that a super PAC tied to Republican leadership that has long laid dormant will begin spending in the final days of the race.
That spending is — or will be — just a small fraction of the more than $170 million spent by candidates and outside groups in the historic race so far. House Speaker Sara Gideon, the Democratic nominee, has significantly outraised Sen. Susan Collins this year, while outside spending has been closer to even between the two candidates but still slightly favors Gideon.
The last-minute spending gives each side the chance to construct their own narrative. Republicans were quick to suggest that the spending shows national groups think Gideon needs more help. Democrats, meanwhile, were quick to mock national Republicans on Wednesday over an ad from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, that attacked Gideon using the same actress as ads attacking Democratic candidates in Iowa and Kansas.
Another poll released Wednesday showed little movement in a race that has remained relatively steady despite ubiquitous attack ads. A Colby College poll conducted between Oct. 21 and 25 gave Gideon a three-point lead over Collins, consistent with polling all year that has given the House Speaker a narrow but often statistically insignificant lead. The Colby poll found independents Lisa Savage and Max Linn with a bit shy of 5 percent and 2 percent support, respectively.
The race will use ranked-choice voting, with the Colby poll finding that the majority of Savage supporters likely to rank Gideon second, while Linn supporters were more divided. Collins and Gideon will meet for a final debate tonight, hosted by ABC affiliate WMTW at 8 p.m. It will be the only one without their independent challengers.
The Maine politics top 3
— “Susan Collins, Sara Gideon disagree on the effect of a more conservative Supreme Court,” Jessica Piper, Bangor Daily News: “U.S. Sen. Susan Collins doubted on Tuesday that a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court will overturn key health and abortion laws while Democratic opponent Sara Gideon did not rule out a call from progressives to add justices to the high court.”
— “Jill Biden makes character argument for her husband in Tuesday visit to Bangor,” Caitlin Andrews, BDN: “The low-key event with Gov. Janet Mills and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon was Jill Biden’s second visit to the state in just over a month. She pitched her husband as somewhat of a political palate cleanser, urging a crowd of about 50 to make a plan to vote if they had not done so already and saying “there are no do-overs” after Nov. 3.”
Trump surrogates will traipse through Maine on Wednesday with appearances in Bangor and Gorham. A busy stretch of campaigning will continue in Maine on Wednesday as four surrogates for the president — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Republican National Committee Co-Chair Tommy Hicks, Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski and former Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney — will make appearances at Republican offices in Bangor and Gorham.
— “Orono woman charged with voter fraud after allegedly casting former roommate’s ballot,” Charles Eichacker, BDN: “The new case was apparently motivated by ‘a personal dispute’ rather than an effort ‘to influence the outcome of the election,’ said Marc Malon, a spokesperson for Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey.”
These kinds of fraud cases are extremely rare in Maine. The last known case in 20 years was in 2012, when an Oakland man pleaded guilty to forgery after he cast ballots for his two adult children in the 2010 election. Lawyers in the attorney general’s office estimated six or fewer cases of attempted dual-voting in the past decade.
Today’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Jessica Piper and Caitlin Andrews. If you’re reading this on the BDN’s website or were forwarded it, email firstname.lastname@example.org (we’re setting up a new subscriber page soon) to subscribe to it via email.
To reach us, do not reply directly to this newsletter, but contact the political team at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.