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Tom Allen

Tom Allen, Lobbyist

From the Press Herald:

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Allen has been hired to run the trade group that represents American book publishers.

The former six-term Democratic congressman from Portland, who ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Susan Collins last year, will be president and chief executive officer of the American Book Publisher's Association, the group announced today.

A Costly Loss

This guy ran the numbers for the 2008 US Senate elections across the country and calculated the amount spent by each candidate per vote earned.

The results show that Tom Allen spent $21 for every vote he received in November, making his run the most costly unsuccessful major-party challenge to an incumbent anywhere in the country, per vote. Allen's votes were cheaper only compared to the candidates in tight races in Alaska and New Hampshire and incumbent Max Baucus' campaign in Montana.

Susan Collins spent more money, but also won a lot more votes, resulting in an expenditure of $17 per vote.

Those numbers pale in comparison to the third party per-vote expenditures. If we accept the totals reported by the Secretary of State and broken down on Herbert Hoffman's website, (which are probably way off) Hoffman spent $76 for every one of his votes while Laurie Dobson (who still probably thinks she's running for something) spent a whopping $528 for each of her 27 votes.

Allen Discusses Election, Future

Outgoing congressman Tom Allen appeared on WLBZ/WCSH yesterday to discuss the recent election and his future plans.

Allen says he plans to seek a job in the Obama administration and ruled out running for governor in 2010, saying "I'm not running for governor and I doubt very very much that I'll run for office again."


A.J. Higgins takes a look at why Tom Allen lost to Susan Collins in what was otherwise a Democratic year. He speaks with pollster Patrick Murphy, Governor Baldacci, political scientist Mark Brewer and former senate candidate Jean Hay-Bright (I'm not sure why someone who got 20% of the vote in 2006 is giving advice).

In the same vein, Republican operative Roy Lenardson (who jokingly calls himself the "architect behind the failure") recently discussed Republican state senate losses on WLOB:

Alternate Universe

The United Steelworkers Union sent out a press release yesterday taking credit for some electoral victories.

In the Bucksport area, USW made major commitments to help Barack Obama be elected president and Tom Allen win a U.S. Senate seat. USW members worked the phones, leafleted work sites and canvassed neighbors to educate voters on issues and the need to go to the polls on Election Day[...]

"It is essential that the new President and Senator-elect Allen work with other members of Congress to restore the America dream for all of our citizens and for us, once again, to establish our society as a shiny beacon to rest of the world," said Gerard.

Collins Web Ad

Susan Collins emailed out one last web ad to her list today, again attacking Allen on the issue of congressional attendance. I imagine her campaign is thrilled to be closing the campaign sparring over voting percentages rather than talking about the economy or Iraq or a half-dozen other hot-button issues that are cutting against Republicans this year. If she wins this week, which seems almost certain, it will be because she has almost completely controlled the narrative of the campaign.

Kevin Wack implies that the Rasmussen poll showing Collins with her largest lead since April likely signals that the game is over. Even Collins Watch seems to have given up the ghost.

Bailey's Advice for Allen

Dennis Bailey took a break from running CasinosNo! recently to offer Rep. Tom Allen some advice on his blog on how he should have handled the attendance issue.

As a former college football player, Tom should know you can’t score on defense. Here’s what he should have said:

"Yea, I missed some votes. There were times I had to care for dying parents and be with my wife who was suffering from health problems. Maybe Susan can’t but Maine people can certainly understand that. But you know what? Maine and this country would have been a lot better off if Susan Collins had missed a few votes, like her vote to give tax breaks to the very wealthy instead of Maine people; like her vote that got us into the Iraq War that has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives; like her vote to (insert outrage here). On the votes that really matter, it would have been better for all of us if Susan Collins had taken the day off."

Allen is closing the race with an attack highlighting Collins' broken term-limits pledge.

Update: The Bangor Daily News has some (fashion) advice for Bailey, who they label as the state's worst-dressed politico.

Polling George Mitchell

To put Mitchell's encouraging comments in perspective, while he did enter the 1982 US Senate race significantly behind in the polls (after being appointed to the Senate in 1980), by a week before the election he was up by at least 4 points according to UPI (based on partially-reported internal polls). He ended up winning 61-39 over first-district congressman Dave Emery.

A better source of hope for Allen from Mitchell's political history might be his 1974 race for governor. The Press Herald gave Mitchell a 19-point lead over James B. Longley on the eve of the election, but in the end Longley pulled off a 3-point win to become the state's first independent governor.

Of course, polling has improved a bit since then.

Allen Closes Strong

Where was this guy in September?

Drop the defensiveness about Senate attendance records (which is playing completely on Collins' turf) and he's got a strong argument, one we should have been hearing more forcefully and more often before now.

Also from Jessica Alaimo's great field reporting: George Mitchell doesn't trust the polls.

Poll: Only Question 2 Competitive

A new Market Decisions poll has the casino referendum statistically tied, but shows large margins in favor of Obama, Collins, and for repealing the beverage tax.

President: Obama 52%, McCain 33%
US Senate: Collins 54%, Allen 37%
Question 1: Yes 66%, No 28%
Question 2: Yes 49%, No 48%

The survey of 387 likely Maine voters was taken from October 13–26 with a margin of error of ±5%, 95 times out of 100.

This poll has a smaller sample size and was taken over a longer period than some of the other recent surveys. Polling even is good for CasinosNo!, as undecided voters are thought to be more likely to ultimately vote "No" (in favor of the status quo) on any given referendum.