Chaffee RI win bodes well for Anti-War Democrat in Maine
September 13, 2006
Bangor Daily News story Sept. 14, 2006 - Snowe Challenger Says She's 2 for 2

NOTE: Vote in the Survey next to the Story (Tricky question, read it carefully -- This will tell us how important the Iraq War is to Maine voters.):

Would you support a congressional candidate even if
he or she didn't share your opinion on the Iraq War?

Maine's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright said Wednesday that Lincoln Chaffee's win in Tuesday's Rhode Island Republican primary bodes well for her race against Republican incumbent Sen. Olympia Snowe.

"Unlike Snowe, who voted in favor of the war, Lincoln Chaffee voted against the Iraq War resolution in 2002," Hay Bright said. "Chaffee won his primary against a conservative pro-Bush Republican. I intend to win my race against one of the most hawkish pro-Bush Republicans now in Congress."

Hay Bright, whose opposition to the war compelled her to challenge Snowe, saw parallels in Tuesday's Rhode Island vote to the Connecticut Democratic primary last month, when pro-war incumbent Joe Lieberman lost to anti-war newcomer Ned Lamont.

"New England voters on both sides of the aisle -- both Democrats and Republicans -- are sending the clear message to their parties that it is time for this war to stop," the Dixmont author and organic farmer said. "It is a message that needs to be repeated at the polls on November 7."

A Strategic Marketing survey done in mid-July that showed three out of four Mainers said the Iraq war was not worth the casualties and costs.

Hay Bright noticed that Snowe's new TV ad -- which was produced by the same media consultants who orchestrated the controversial Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads against John Kerry two years ago -- does not even mention the Iraq War. Nor does Snowe's ad mention that she is a Republican.

"Snowe is running away from her party, but only in her ad," Hay Bright said. "In reality, Congressional Quarterly has her supporting the Bush agenda 82 percent of the time."

"It is a feel-good ad that does not bear up under scrutiny," Hay Bright said. "The ad claims that she supports women, yet she voted to confirm Judge Samuel Alito, the man who drew up an action plan to dismantle Roe v. Wade. She claims to be supporting drug benefits for seniors, yet she voted for Medicare Part D, knowing all the while that the bill did not allow negotiation of drug prices, knowing that the 'donut hole' would be devastating to low-income seniors."

"Snowe is hiding from her voting record, from support for George Bush and from this disastrous war in Iraq," Hay Bright charged. "She must be called to account."

Hay Bright said the message may already be getting out to Maine voters. Results of a MainePulse survey, released Sept. 1, 2006, showed Snowe with only 53% of likely voters saying they would vote for her. Snowe's numbers in that MainePulse survey were significantly lower than her job approval rating of 72% in a March MainePulse survey of Congressional incumbents. Snowe's latest MainePulse numbers were also down considerably from three Rasmussen polls taken this summer, in which her likely-vote totals hovered around 66%.

Unlike the Republican Snowe, who dropped 19 points in the MainePulse survey between her job approval rating in March and her likely-vote in August, scores for Maine's two Democratic Congressmen, Tom Allen and Mike Michaud, held constant. The MainePulse surveys showed a 68% job approval rating for Allen in March, with 69% likely voting for him in August. For Michaud, the figures were 74% in March and 75% in August.

According to their press release, the MainePulse survey of 993 people was taken between Aug. 16 and Aug. 25, 2006. In March, 1,057 people were surveyed. MainePulse is a joint initiative of and Portland Research Group.

MainePulse Sept. 1, 2006 press release:

Rasmussen Report, August 2006: