Maine blogger and political strategist Matthew Gagnon thinks it is too early to assume that Olympia's Snowe's seat is a guaranteed pick up for Democrats. While the current Republican running to take Snowe's seat has no chance of winning, there are many other Republicans and independents on the sidelines who might be able to take it.
Yet as I was reading over the descriptions of the potential Republican contenders, I was struck to learn that it was the moderate Republicans, the ones who would probably have the best chance of keeping her seat, who had no interest in running:
Abbott is certainly in the moderate tradition given his affiliation with Senator Collins, but cut a somewhat more conservative profile during his 2010 bid. This places him in the perfect position to run statewide.
The problem is, no one believes he wants the job. Abbott has never held much affinity for Washington, D.C. (hard to blame him), and is widely believed to have chosen a crowded gubernatorial race over a more clear congressional race in 2010, because he loves Maine, wants to raise his kids here, and would prefer to stay.
Charlie Summers is another “perfect fit” that you will likely see take a pass. Much like Abbott, he is moderate with strong conservative tendencies, and has an impressive, attractive resume to run on.
Everyone looked to him as a potential candidate, but there just isn’t as much buzz about him as the others. Importantly, as Secretary of State he doesn’t necessarily have the political organization (or money) to flip the switch and put all his chips in the middle of the table at the drop of a hat.
If only there was an organization that was willing to help support and fund candidates like this...