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United States Senate election in Maine, 2012

United States Senate election in Maine, 2012

November 6, 2012

Nominee Angus King Charlie Summers Cynthia Dill
Party Independent Republican Democratic
Popular vote 368,724 214,114 91,635
Percentage 52.92% 30.73% 13.15%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Olympia Snowe

Elected U.S. Senator

Angus King

The 2012 United States Senate election in Maine was held on November 6, 2012, alongside a presidential election, other elections to the United States Senate in other states, as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Despite initially being in the race early on and poised to easily win, popular Republican U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe suddenly decided to retire instead of running for re-election to a fourth term. Former Independent Governor Angus King won the open seat.


  • Background 1
  • Republican primary 2
    • Candidates 2.1
      • On ballot 2.1.1
      • Withdrew 2.1.2
      • Declined 2.1.3
      • Polling 2.1.4
    • Results 2.2
  • Democratic primary 3
    • Candidates 3.1
      • On the ballot 3.1.1
      • Declined 3.1.2
      • Polling 3.1.3
    • Results 3.2
  • General election 4
    • Candidates 4.1
    • Debates 4.2
    • Campaign 4.3
      • Anti-spoiler proposal 4.3.1
      • Campaign spending issues 4.3.2
    • Endorsements 4.4
    • Fundraising 4.5
    • Top contributors by employer 4.6
    • Top industries 4.7
    • Polling 4.8
    • Results 4.9
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Incumbent Olympia Snowe won re-election to a third term in 2006 with 74.01% of the vote over Democrat Jean Hay Bright and independent Bill Slavick. Due to the unpopularity of some of Snowe's votes among conservative voters, namely for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and initial support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there was speculation that she would face competition in the 2012 Republican primary from more conservative challengers.[1] The Tea Party Express had promised to aid in a primary against Snowe.[2] There had also been speculation that Snowe would switch parties, though she has always denied this.[3][4][5] By June 2011, Snowe had officially entered her name with signatures to run in the Republican primary, saying, she "would never switch parties".

However on February 28, 2012, Snowe announced that she would be retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of her term, citing the "atmosphere of polarization and 'my way or the highway' ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions" as the reason for her retirement.[6] Her announcement opened the door for candidates from all parties and creating a much more contested 2012 election.[7]

The primary election was held on June 12.[8]

Republican primary


On ballot


  • Andrew Ian Dodge, conservative activist (running as an independent)[13]
  • Olympia Snowe, incumbent U.S. senator (retiring)[7]



Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Other Undecided
MPRC March 31–April 2, 2012 318 ±5.49% 7.1% 3.9% 5.7% 12% 3.9% 27.6% 39.7%


Republican primary results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charlie Summers 20,578 29.46%
Republican Bruce Poliquin 15,973 22.86%
Republican Rick Bennett 12,544 17.96%
Republican Scott D'Amboise 7,735 11.07%
Republican William Schneider 6,784 9.71%
Republican Deborah Plowman 6,244 8.94%
Totals 69,098 100%

Democratic primary


On the ballot



Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Other Undecided
Maine People's Resource Center March 31 – April 2, 2012 415 ± 4.8% 20.3% 16.7% 6.2% 1.9% 54.8%


Democratic primary results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cynthia Dill 22,629 44.31%
Democratic Matt Dunlap 18,202 35.64%
Democratic Jon Hinck 6,302 12.34%
Democratic Benjamin Pollard 3,945 7.72%
Totals 51,078 100%

General election



The second debate was held September 17, 2012. Topics included President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, energy policy, gun control, capital gains taxes and whether the Senate is broken.[33]


The group Maine People's Alliance called on Charles Summers to resign his position as Secretary of State of Maine, stating that it was a conflict of interest for the secretary of state to oversee their own election to another office. They also had concerns over past actions in sending letters to college students about voter registration requirements. A spokesperson for Summers said that he had turned over all election oversight to a deputy Secretary of State, and Summers himself stated that he was not going to resign.[34] No Secretary of State or Maine Attorney General who was seeking higher office in the last 30 years has resigned.[35]

Steve Woods announced on August 1 that, if elected, he would donate his entire Senate salary to Maine charities chosen by an independent committee of business and nonprofit leaders he would appoint. He encouraged Angus King to make a similar pledge; King responded through his spokesperson that he and his wife would continue to donate money to charities, and that all candidates should do so in "the best way they feel they can."[36]

Anti-spoiler proposal

Steve Woods met with Angus King on June 13 to discuss a proposal by Woods for either man to leave the race if it appeared one or the other was not going to win, in order to avoid being a spoiler candidate. Woods specifically cited the 2010 Maine Gubernatorial election as well as the 2000 presidential election as examples of what could result from a fragmented electorate. King stated that while he had not fully considered Woods' proposal, he didn't think he was a spoiler, in that "If I thought that, I wouldn't be running." Woods said that regardless of whether or not King accepted the proposal, he likely would abide by it and endorse King in late October if it appeared he would not win.[37] Woods did indeed drop out and endorsed King on November 4, stating that King had the "highest degree of integrity to represent all Mainers". Woods' name, however, remained on the ballot.[38]

Campaign spending issues

On June 13, Angus King held a press conference and stated that he would discourage campaign spending by outside groups if his opponents would agree to do the same. King criticized such spending as "a tidal wave of anonymous campaign expenditures that distort our political process." His proposed agreement is modeled on a similar agreement between Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and his opponent Elizabeth Warren, which requires them, if outside money is spend on their behalf, to donate an equivalent amount of money to the charity of their opponent's choice. Democrat Cynthia Dill criticized the proposal as lacking "detail or substance" but added that she "looked forward to seeing a proposed agreement." Republican Charles Summers did not state whether he would accept King's proposal or not but criticized King for discussing campaign finance instead of issues like the economy and government spending.[39] Andrew Ian Dodge called such an agreement "unworkable", while Steve Woods said he would abide by such an agreement.[40]

In a letter to King, Dill again stated that she was open to an agreement on limiting outside spending in the race, but she also called on King to support measures the candidates can take themselves to limit campaign spending. These include pledging to not finance their campaigns themselves and limiting contributions to $500. Dill also called on King to take stands on a variety of campaign finance legislation, such as the DISCLOSE Act. King told the Bangor Daily News the prior week that he does support increased disclosure requirements for super-PACs, but did not specifically say he supports the DISCLOSE Act. King is so far the only candidate to benefit from super-PAC money, as a group called icpurple Inc. spent $24,000 making an online advertisement for King. King stated that as part of his proposal, he would ask the group to take the ads down.[40]

Danny Dalton stated on June 14 that he would not accept any campaign donations whatsoever, in order to assure constituents that he will represent everyone equally.[41]

Steve Woods pledged to not spend more than $1.3 million on his campaign, or roughly $1 per Maine resident, including campaign donations and his own money. He stated, "If I can't get my message out and if the public isn't interested in that message, to spend more would be egregious."[42]

On July 18, King was criticized for attending a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., where he raised money from PACs and other donors. Republicans said King's actions were "the height of hypocrisy" for speaking out against PAC money and raising it at the same time, while Cynthia Dill criticized King as an "insider who is working the system". King defended his actions by stating that he "took no joy" in them but that it was necessary for him to raise money to defend himself in the "dogfight" he expects. King also reiterated his support of changing campaign finance laws and said that he was making no promises to donors.[43]



Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Angus King (I) $937,694 $434,250 $503,444 $37,742
Charlie Summers (R) $294,081 $174,082 $119,289 $55,000
Cynthia Dill (D) $104,512 $75,988 $28,521 $5,698
Source: Federal Election Commission[57][58][59]

Top contributors by employer

[60] [61]
Angus King Contribution Charlie Summers Contribution Cynthia Dill Contribution
Lee Auto Mall $15,000 Alamo PAC $10,000 Auto Europe $2,500
Bernstein Shur $13,300 Kelly PAC $10,000 Thornton Academy $2,500
Bowdoin College employees $11,500 Making Business Excel PAC $5,000 Southern Maine Community College $2,500
Elevation Partners $10,000 Royal Shell Real Estate $5,000 Jones Day $2,000
Lee Auto Mall-Auburn $10,000 White Rock Distilleries $5,000 Quimby Foundation $2,000
International Union of Operating Engineers $10,000 D&G Machine Products $3,000 City of Middletown Connecticut $1,000
Spectrum Health $8,950 3M Co. $2,500 Mill to the Hill PAC $1,000 $1,000
Pierce Atwood LLP $8,500 Doyle Group $2,500
Martin's Point Health Care $8,250 Speedway Motorsports, Inc. $2,500
Eaton Peabody $6,000 Moulison North $2,500

Top industries

Angus King Contribution Charlie Summers Contribution Cynthia Dill Contribution
Retired $117,500 Leadership PACs $25,000 Lawyers/Law Firms $3,850
Lawyers/Law Firms $56,600 Misc Business $23,500 Retired $2,550
Financial Institutions $37,250 Retired $12,000 Health Professionals $2,500
Real Estate $26,600 Real Estate $6,000 Non-Profit Institutions $2,000
Automotive Industry $25,000 Manufacturing & Distributing $5,500 Women's Issues $1,500
Misc Finance $24,750 Alcohol industry $5,000 Civil Servants/Public Officials $1,250
Education $20,960 General Contractors $3,000 Leadership PACs $1,000
Misc Business $20,750 Business Services $2,750 Misc Business $500
Health Professionals $19,450 Telecommunications industry $2,500 Construction Industry $500
Insurance $16,750 Insurance $2,500 Food Industry $350


Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Summers (R)
Dill (D)
King (I)
Other Undecided
Maine People's Resource Center November 1–3, 2012 905 ± 3.26% 34% 10.7% 47.6% 4.5% 3.3%
Public Policy Polling November 1–2, 2012 1,633 ± 2.4% 36% 12% 50% 2%
Portland Press Herald/Critical Insights October 30–31, 2012 613 ± 4% 33% 11% 49% 7%
Pan Atlantic SMS September 24–28, 2012 400 ± 4.9% 24% 12% 50% 14%
Rasmussen Reports September 25, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 33% 14% 45% 1% 7%
Public Policy Polling September 17–18, 2012 804 ± 3.5% 35% 14% 43% 8%
Maine People's Resource Center September 15–17, 2012 856 ± 3.35% 28% 15% 44% 6% 7%
Portland Press Herald/Critical Insights September 12–16, 2012 618 ± 4% 28% 12% 50% 3% 8%
Moore Consulting August 5–6, 2012 500 ± n/a 28% 8% 46%
Portland Press Herald/Critical Insights June 20–25, 2012 615 ± 4% 27% 7% 55% 1% 9%
WBUR TV/MassInc Polling Group June 13–14, 2012 506 ± 4.4% 23% 9% 50% 1% 17%


United States Senate election in Maine, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Angus King 368,724 52.92% +47.55%
Republican Charlie Summers 211,114 30.73% -43.28%
Democratic Cynthia Dill 91,635 13.15% -7.44%
Independent Steve Woods 10,321 1.48% n/a
Independent Danny Dalton 6,450 0.93% n/a
Libertarian Andrew Ian Dodge 5,543 0.80% n/a
Independent gain from Republican Swing

See also


  1. ^ Toeplitz, Shira (November 10, 2010). "GOP senators see threat on right".  
  2. ^ Peoples, Steve (February 10, 2011). "Tea Party Express Names Snowe as Its Next Moderate Republican Target". Roll Call. Retrieved February 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ Gustini, Ray (November 10, 2010). "Will Olympia Snowe Switch Parties?". The Atlantic Journal. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ Moulitsas, Markos (September 14, 2010). "Right time for Snowe switch". The Hill. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ Klein, Ezra (November 11, 2009). "Will Olympia Snowe switch parties?". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ Bash, Dana and Paul Steinhauser (February 29, 2012). "Citing partisanship, Maine's Snowe says she'll leave the Senate". CNN News. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Cillizza, Chris; Blake, Aaron (February 28, 2012). "Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire in blow to GOP". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ballot set for U.S. Senate primary in Maine | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  9. ^ a b "3 Republicans file for Senate race in Main".  
  10. ^ Boyle, Matthew (September 13, 2010). "2012 Maine Senate contender plans to give Olympia Snowe a run for her money".  
  11. ^ "Plowman, Dunlap Submit Signatures For US Senate - WABI TV5". 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  12. ^ a b Morrison, Lauren (March 15, 2012). "Candidates in Place to Fill Maine's Senate Seat, House Seats". WABI. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ Catanese, David (February 22, 2012). "Dodge quits Maine GOP, cites corruption".  
  14. ^ a b c d Mistler, Steve (March 2, 2012). "Raye staying in 2nd Congressional District race, no Senate bid".  
  15. ^ "Breaking: Secretary Cohen Will Not Run for ME-Sen". Red Racing Horses. February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012. 
  16. ^ Russell, Eric (March 2, 2012). "With Michaud and Raye out of running for Senate, races start to take shape".  
  17. ^ a b "AP Election Results | Campaign 2012 | C-SPAN". 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  18. ^ "Dill sticks in Senate race".  
  19. ^ "Dunlap to Challenge Snowe for Senate Seat".  
  20. ^ a b "Hinck re-launches Senate campaign".  
  21. ^ "Former Gov. John Baldacci will not run for Snowe’s U.S. Senate seat".  
  22. ^ Du Houx, Ramona (December 14, 2011). "Rep. Emily Cain will run for State Senate". Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  23. ^ Russell, Eric (March 1, 2012). "Michaud to stay in House race; Republicans cautiously considering Senate seat".  
  24. ^ "Pingree won't run for U.S. Senate | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b Stone, Matthew (May 29, 2012). "King submits signatures to qualify for Senate ballot". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Independent candidate for US Senate says he won’t accept campaign donations". Bangor Daily News. June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Dodge qualifies as independent U.S. Senate candidate". May 30, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  29. ^ Livingston, Abby; Shiner, Meredith (February 28, 2012). "Olympia Snowe Shocks Colleagues With Retirement".  
  30. ^ 8:02 p.m. (2012-03-05). "Angus King enters race for U.S. Senate — State — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  31. ^ Cousins, Christopher (2012-06-12). "Benjamin Pollard will continue US Senate campaign as a write-in — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  32. ^ "Yarmouth executive to run for Senate as independent | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  33. ^ 
  34. ^ "Summers won't resign as Secretary of State during Senate campaign". Kennebec Journal. June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Maine People’s Alliance wants Summers resignation". Bangor Daily News. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Independent Senate candidate Steve Woods says he’ll give Senate salary to Maine charities". Bangor Daily News. August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  37. ^ 6:11 p.m. (2012-06-14). "Fellow independent Senate candidate Steve Woods issues challenge to Angus King — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  38. ^ "Independent Steve Woods leaves Senate race, endorses King". 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  39. ^ Cousins, Christopher (2012-06-13). "Angus King pledges to discourage super-PAC money if his opponents do the same — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  40. ^ a b "Dill says she’s open to King’s super-PAC challenge, wants more money limits". Bangor Daily News. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  41. ^ The Associated Press (2012-06-14). "Independent candidate for US Senate says he won’t accept campaign donations — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  42. ^ Cousins, Christopher (2012-06-20). "Yarmouth councilman takes a truly unconventional approach in bid for U.S. Senate — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  43. ^ "Angus King's opponents blast him for D.C. fundraiser | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  44. ^ "Baldacci endorses Dill's U.S. Senate campaign".  
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ a b
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai
  49. ^ Stone, Matthew. "Jesse Ventura, the Amazing Kreskin offer Maine Senate endorsements". 
  50. ^
  51. ^ a b Miga, Andrew (October 6, 2012). "King's independent bent roils Maine Senate race".  
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ a b c
  55. ^
  56. ^ a b
  57. ^ Dill Campaign Finances
  58. ^ []
  59. ^ King Campaign Finances
  60. ^ [1]Center for Responsive Politics
  61. ^ "Federal Election Commission". 
  62. ^ Donors by Industry (

External links

  • Elections Division from the Maine Secretary of State
  • Campaign contributions at
  • Outside spending at the Sunlight Foundation
  • Candidate issue positions at On the Issues
Official campaign websites
  • Danny Dalton for U.S. Senate
  • Cynthia Dill for U.S. Senate
  • Andrew Ian Dodge for U.S. Senate
  • Angus King for U.S. Senate
  • Charles Summers for U.S. Senate
  • Steve Woods for U.S. Senate
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