It’s a risky gamble, since Mr. King remains steadfast in his refusal to say which party he intends to caucus with if he wins.
“What’s interesting for Democratic voters is that the Democratic Party may help elect Angus King, but he still may caucus with the Republicans” if the GOP wins back control of the Senate, said Mr. Franz. “That would be a cosmic payback of sorts for the Democrats making this bet.”
Americans Elect, which formed in 2011 as a nonprofit seeking to create an Internet platform for third-party presidential candidates, has evolved into a super PAC. Among its biggest donors is Mr. Bloomberg, the one-time Democrat, turned Republican, and now independent mayor of New York City.
The effort runs counter to funds being pumped into the race by Mr. Rove’s group, Crossroads GPS, which last week announced that it would spend $335,000 before Tuesday on an ad attacking Mr. King. In total, the group has spent nearly $1 million on such ads in Maine.
The catch, according to some observers, may be that no amount of money from outside will change the current trend, in which Maine voters — whether in the governor’s race two years ago or in the current contest for Mrs. Snowe’s Senate seat — appear to prefer candidates who don’t fit squarely into the major political parties’ round holes.
“I’ve lived a lot of places, and Maine is the only place I’ve lived where voters seem to view independent candidates as consistently viable candidates for governance,” said Ronald Schmidt, who teaches political science at the University of Southern Maine. The state also had an independent governor from 1975 to 1979, James B. Longley, who campaigned on a pledge to serve just a single term.
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Guy Taylor rejoined The Washington Times in 2011 as the State Department correspondent.
As a freelance journalist, Taylor’s work was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Fund For Investigative Journalism, and his stories appeared in a variety publications, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to Salon, Reason, Prospect Magazine of London, the Daily Star of Beirut, the ...
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