Early look at Q2/3 – and some breaking news, too

I’ll be reporting on Q2 and Q3 tonight, based down in Biddeford. Q2, as you may have heard (about 100 times!) asks voters to authorize racinos in Biddeford and Washington County, while Q3 seeks approval for a full casino in downtown Lewiston.

We’ll be analyzing early returns and reporting on the latest tonight. Just spit-balling here, but it seems to be that voter turnout in key metro areas like Bangor, Biddeford, Lewiston-Auburn and Portland will be particularly critical.

There could easily be an anti-Q2/3 vote in Bangor, if voters there seek to protect the golden goose that is Hollywood Slots (which is asking voters to allow it to run table games). Portland traditionally is anti-casino, and there may be above-average voter turnout due to the first ever elected mayor’s race. And while Biddeford residents and Lewiston/Auburn residents may come out to support the proposals in their own towns, they may cannibalize the other question to protect their own interests. By that I mean that Biddeford residents may vote in favor of Q2, yet against Q3 – and vice versa.

Then there’s the rural Maine communities. Those are always hard to get your arms around, politically speaking. We know the Christian Civic League of Maine has sent out thousands and thousands of fliers to be inserted into church bulletins around the state, opposing Q2 and Q3. I’d be surprised if there isn’t an impact there.

On the other hand, many of these rural communities – and urban centers, too – may respond well to the basic message of the proponents of Q2 and Q3: jobs, jobs, jobs. And more jobs.

Now on the breaking Q2/Q3 news front:

Gov. Paul LePage’s office put out a statement Tuesday morning regarding robo-calls that were dispatched Monday evening regarding Q2/Q3.

“Gov. Paul LePage did not authorize the calls and although the person or persons responsible for these calls used some of the governor’s remarks from a recent event at Colby College, his position has stayed the same.

Gov. LePage has not endorsed or opposed Questions 2 or 3. Instead, he has always maintained that it is up to the voters to make the decision and that it should be decided locally.

The Governor has no affiliation with the website www.lepage2and3.com nor does he have any ties to this campaign that is allegedly paid for by Mainers Against a Rotten Deal.”

This story provides a bit more background on what the governor said. And here’s a story I wrote recently looking at the regional goings-on with casino proposals, and how the Maine gambling sector may be impacted.

See ya at the polls!