Can Mike Michaud Complete A New England Dem Sweep?
Congressman Mike Michaud has taken a huge step toward running for governor of Maine in 2014. He has a legitimate shot to defeat incumbent Republican Paul LePage, which means there is a real chance for something historic: All Democratic governors of the six New England states.
As far as I’ve ever been able to tell, this has never happened in more than 200 years of the party’s history (including when it was called the Democratic-Republican Party). There have been Republican sweeps, last occurring in January 1941, and there have been close calls, but never even briefly a clean Democratic sweep.
It got a big step closer just two weeks ago when Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee changed his registration from Independent to Democratic in preparation for his 2014 re-election bid. That brought the number to five, with LePage as the lone holdout against Chafee, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, and Peter Shumlin of Vermont.
Getting to six, however, will be tough—even if Michaud gets the Augusta office. The other five are also up for election next year. Shumlin is probably the closest to a safe bet, assuming he runs, but the rest look like tough contests—not least here in Massachusetts, where Patrick is leaving with no heir apparent.
But they are all certainly winnable for the Democrats, and with Michaud, they have a real chance at the historic, never-before-seen New England sweep. Although, just watch—I bet if the other five states elect Democrats, Maine will pick Independent Eliot Cutler. Just to keep the streak alive.