News broke this morning that the independent candidate for governor in Maine, Eliot Cutler, was holding a press conference early this morning to talk about his “status in this race”. Eliot Cutler was not a spoiler candidate in 2010, he came very close to beating now Governor Paul LePage in a year that strongly favored Republicans. The Democratic candidate likely cost Cutler the job because it split the anti-LePage vote. Now the tables are turned, Cutler is taking votes away from Rep. Mike Michaud (D) bid to unseat Governor LePage (R). Rumors quickly spread that Eliot Cutler was dropping out of the race and supporting Michaud.
That didn’t happen but he still helped Michaud, well sorta. Via Press Harold:
Independent Eliot Cutler announced at an impromptu press conference Wednesday that Mainers should “vote their conscience” in the Nov. 4 election for governor, but he stopped short of withdrawing from the three-way race or urging Mainers to support another candidate.
Cutler said he detests the notion of releasing voters and plans to keep campaigning through Election Day.
However, he did acknowledge the current reality of the campaign, with multiple polls showing him running a distant third behind incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who are locked in a close race.
“I truly believe in democracy and the ultimate authority of voters to vote for whomever they want for whatever reason and I don’t think any voter, whether a supporter of mine or not, now needs or ever has needed my permission or my blessing to vote for one of my opponents,” Cutler said at a news conference at his Portland office. “Nevertheless, I want to reiterate what I said six months ago: Anyone who has supported me but who now worries that I cannot win and is thereby compelled by their fears or by their conscience to vote instead for Mr. LePage or Mr. Michaud should do so.”
Michaud is the second choice of the majority of Cutler supporters. The polls show LePage either winning barely or tied with Michaud. Cutler move likely is to save him from getting blamed if LePage wins by a few votes.