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LePage to exit the Blaine House with middling approval despite decent economy — Daily Brief — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

LePage to exit the Blaine House with middling approval despite decent economy — Daily Brief — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Gov. Paul LePage speaks at the Republican Conference in Augusta, Might 5, 2018.

By Michael Shepherd, BDN Employees •
November 20, 2018 9:59 am

Up to date: November 20, 2018 10:07 am

Good morning from Augusta. Gov. Paul LePage has spent a lot of his time since the 2018 marketing campaign to exchange him defending his financial document, however he’ll depart workplace with middling approval — by his requirements — and a deeply divided state behind him.

That’s in accordance to polling from Essential Insights, the agency that has chronicled the Republican governor’s approval score since he took workplace in 2010. It stood at 40 % throughout the group’s final survey in October, once more the worst mark for Maine’s three statewide elected officers.

LePage’s approval score is in the center of his all-time excessive, however he confronted an analogous wave election identical to his predecessor did. LePage’s score was nearly proper in the center of his all-time excessive and low marks. He has been as little as 31 % and was measured at 47 % approval in fall 2011 and 45 % round his 2014 re-election.

However he hasn’t made it again to that prime of a mark, staying in the thirties and low forties since then in Crucial Insights polling. His ultimate approval score might be simply 5 proportion factors larger than that of John Baldacci, LePage’s Democratic predecessor, who exited the Blaine House after the 2010 election on the heels of a recession.

That was a Republican wave election that swept the governor’s workplace and each chambers of the Legislature from Democrats. Eight years later, LePage is dealing with a mirror picture of that. His chief rival, Lawyer Basic Janet Mills, gained the governor’s race convincingly and she or he’ll be backed by giant Democratic majorities in each legislative chambers.

That is despite a superb economy by some measures. The governor’s race was largely a referendum on LePage’s course for the state. Maine’s economy is robust proper now by some measures, chief amongst them a record-low stretch of unemployment. However the state is the oldest in the nation by median age with an anemic job progress outlook.

LePage has defended his legacy largely alongside financial strains over the previous few months as Mills readies to reverse lots of his insurance policies. One among the largest reversals could possibly be her dedication to increasing Medicaid beneath the Reasonably priced Care Act, which was authorised by voters in 2017 however stays unimplemented in a courtroom battle with advocates.

Apparently, LePage’s approval score in Maine is monitoring intently to that of President Donald Trump, who was pegged at 43 % nationally by Gallup final week. That’s underwater despite a slight majority of voters approving of Trump’s dealing with of the economy.

In Maine, optimism about the economy is middling at greatest. In the Important Insights survey, two out of three Maine voters stated the economy can be the similar or higher over the subsequent yr, however 29 % stated it will be worse. By a slight margin, that’s the worst mark since 2008.

Mainers are additionally divided on the state’s path, with 30 % saying it’s on the incorrect monitor — the lowest mark since 2009 — and 25 % saying it’s on the proper monitor. That latter group is dominated by Republicans who’ve ostensibly appreciated LePage’s insurance policies.

There nonetheless appears to be no mandate now in Maine’s divided politics. The preferred and least divisive politician in the Crucial Insights ballot was U.S. Sen. Angus King, the unbiased who stood at 52 % approval and 30 % disapproval, although Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, was proper behind him at 51 % approval and 36 % disapproval.

That was despite Collins taking a nosedive in approval from final yr after her controversial vote for U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which has already appeared to reshuffle her help alongside partisan strains. Essential Insights noticed an 11-point dip for Collins amongst ladies.

When it comes to the Legislature, there’s a good cut up, with a 3rd of voters approving of it final month whereas a 3rd of voters disapproved. LePage’s approval numbers present that there’s nonetheless an urge for food for conservatism, although it’s not sufficient to win an election alone. Maine ought to stay a spot with relative political parity despite the 2018 election outcomes.

Nothing modifications in first 2018 legislative recount

A Democratic incumbent from Lewiston survived a decent race with one other recount approaching Tuesday. Rep. James Useful, D-Lewiston, gained his race over Republican Denise Hurilla of Lewiston by 38 votes after a recount administered by Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s workplace on Monday. Useful’s unofficial margin of victory was 43 votes earlier than then, so issues solely tightened barely in the recount.

The second and last legislative recount will occur immediately between Rep. Kent Ackley, I-Monmouth, and former Rep. Randall Greenwood, R-Wales. That’s set for 10 a.m. immediately in Augusta. Ackley is the obvious victor now by simply 28 votes.

Studying listing

— A Bangor man elevating his 4 grandchildren whereas homeless had to name greater than 100 landlords earlier than one accepted his federal housing voucher. The story of Lawrence Bergeron underscores wider struggles in communities to present sufficient reasonably priced housing to meet the want throughout the nation. Bergeron has been elevating his 4 teenage grandchildren since the deaths of his son and daughter and he stated that he has been unable to maintain down a full-time job whereas elevating the youngsters in a state of affairs compounded by grief. It took Bergeron and his household about six months to discover a place to stay in Hermon. One federal housing help program has a waitlist with almost 12,000 individuals on it.

— Maine’s Democratic congressman-elect says he nonetheless opposes tapping his celebration’s minority chief for House speaker after he didn’t signal onto a letter to that impact. U.S. Rep.-elect Jared Golden, a Democrat from Maine’s 2nd District who defeated U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in a ranked-choice rely that the Republican is contesting in federal courtroom, didn’t signal onto a letter from greater than a dozen different Democrats who say they’ll vote towards House Minority Chief Nancy Pelosi, D-California, for speaker. Golden made a number of statements to that impact throughout his main and basic election bids for the seat and his spokesman stated Monday that “nothing’s changed.”

— Statewide check scores have stagnated, however Bangor college students have trended upward for 3 years. Scores on Maine’s present era of standardized exams in English and math have been flat over the three-year interval that state has used them. Issues are totally different in Bangor, the place 55 % of scholars have been at or above grade degree in math in contrast to 37 % statewide throughout the 2017-18 faculty yr. Bangor college students additionally did higher in English, with two-thirds of scholars at or above grade degree in contrast to simply 51 % statewide. These scores have gone up in Bangor over that interval whereas they’ve been principally flat in Maine.

— A Pakistani man who has lived in Bangor for at the very least a decade is headed to jail after his nation refused to take him again. Zafar Iqbal-Khan, who overstayed a visa that he used to enter the U.S. in 1999, received eight months in jail for violating circumstances of launch for being arrested for drunken driving, driving with no license and failure to give an accurate identify. Iqbal-Khan has been out and in of federal custody since 2004 and has ordered to be faraway from the U.S. a number of occasions, however he has stated Pakistan has refused to admit him. He doesn’t have his passport, delivery certificates and different paperwork after U.S. immigration officers seized them.

— His spouse was killed by a hunter in 1988. He needs hunters to be ‘to be certain of your target and the area behind it.’ The demise of Karen Wooden, a younger mom shot by a hunter in her Hermon yard, was considered one of Maine’s most memorable felony proceedings of that period and a landmark case for Maine’s searching legal guidelines. The hunter, Donald Rogerson, was acquitted of manslaughter after he maintained that he noticed a deer and never an individual and information accounts targeted on the buff-colored mittens she wore with white palms. It led to modifications in Maine regulation that requires hunters to determine elements of an animal and know what’s past the goal earlier than capturing. Since then, Kevin Wooden, Karen’s husband, has been crusading for safer searching, calling his column in yesterday’s Bangor Daily News “a lesson of love and survival.”

Squash my argument

I brought about a minor Twitter controversy on Monday by proclaiming my distaste for one in every of New England’s treasured Thanksgiving meals: the humble squash. Some agreed. Others, together with state Sen. Shenna Bellows, D-Manchester, deemed me a blasphemer.

My father’s aspect of the household traces its roots again to the Plymouth Colony. Samuel Fuller, the colony’s physician, is certainly one of my ancestors. I recognize the position that the native gourd performed in feeding the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag individuals who greeted them in the legendary story of our first Thanksgiving. Actually, lots of the native individuals in the space had died of smallpox.

However there was a feast between the colonists and Indians after the first harvest in 1621 (despite the fact that the first Thanksgiving might have been earlier in Maine) and a few variation of squash was in all probability served. Perhaps I’ve been having it mistaken all these years. My mother and father and grandparents have all the time made it mashed with butter, salt and pepper. Not for me.

I’m intrigued by this recipe with roasted butternut squash and Korean chili paste, so I’m protecting an open thoughts. Assist me honor my ancestors by suggesting your greatest squash recipes. Right here’s your soundtrack. — Michael Shepherd

Programming observe

That is your reminder that we’re taking the remainder of this Thanksgiving week off at the Daily Brief and can return on Monday, Nov. 26. Right here’s your soundtrack. — Michael Shepherd


In Monday’s publication, we mislabeled the time of a recount in the House District 82 race between Ackley and Greenwood. It’s at 10 a.m. as we speak, not 1 p.m. It was a reporter’s error.

In the present day’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd. In the event you’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.

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