Eliot Cutler

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Eliot R. Cutler
Eliot Cutler.jpg
Former candidate for
Governor of Maine
PartyIndependent
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sHarvard College
J.D.Georgetown University
Personal
ProfessionRetired attorney
Websites
Personal website
Campaign website
Eliot R. Cutler campaign logo
Eliot R. Cutler was an Independent candidate for Governor of Maine in the 2014 elections. He formally launched his second consecutive gubernatorial campaign on September 24, 2013.[1][2] Cutler was embroiled in a re-match with current incumbent Paul LePage (R), to whom he lost the governorship in the 2010 general election by a margin of less than two percentage points. The general election took place November 4, 2014. Eliot Cutler lost the general election on November 4, 2014.

Biography

Cutler's early career involved service with U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie (D) and an appointment by President Jimmy Carter (D) to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in 1977. He later founded the law firm Cutler & Stanfield, and worked as a partner with the firm until 2009 and an attorney until 2012.[3]

Education

  • Bachelor's degre - Harvard College
  • Juris Doctor - Georgetown University[3]

On The Issues Vote Match

Eliot Cutler's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Cutler is a Liberal Populist. Cutler received a score of 55 percent on social issues and 20 percent on economic issues.[4]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[5]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Unknown Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Favors Stay out of Iran Unknown
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[4]

Elections

2014

See also: Maine gubernatorial election, 2014

Cutler ran for Governor of Maine in 2014. When he officially entered the race on September 24, 2013, Cutler had already been labeled as the presumptive independent candidate.[6] He faced first-term incumbent Gov. Paul LePage (R) and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D) in the general election.[7] The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Results

Governor of Maine, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPaul LePage Incumbent 48.2% 294,533
     Democratic Mike Michaud 43.4% 265,125
     Independent Eliot Cutler 8.4% 51,518
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 79
Total Votes 611,255
Election Results via Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions.

Campaign media


Eliot Cutler ad: Jobs & the Economy

Eliot Cutler ad: Wait for Debates

Eliot Cutler ad: Angus King Endorsement

Eliot Cutler ad: Infrastructure

Endorsements

Cutler received the endorsements of state Sen. Patrick Flood (R) prior to the general election.[8]U.S. Sen. Angus King (I) endorsed Cutler in August, but switched his support to U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D) in the waning days of the campaign.[9][10]

Campaign themes

Cutler's 2014 campaign focused on themes including creating an effective brand for state tourism, reforming property taxation and improving the state's economy.[11]

Race background

Paul LePage ran for a second term as governor in 2014.[12][13] The often divisive Republican was widely considered one of the most vulnerable gubernatorial incumbents facing re-election this year. Sources ranging from Governing, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, The Washington Post and Daily Kos rated the 2014 Maine governor's race as a tossup.[14][15][16][17] In June 2013, after Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud launched his bid for the office, LePage briefly indicated interest in running for Michaud's seat in the U.S. House in 2014 as a way to avoid the risk of a formidable challenge. LePage ultimately decided to seek re-election as governor.[18][19]

Cutler's declining fortunes in the general election

The back-and-forth results of polls published in October led supporters of Michaud to call for Cutler's withdrawal from the gubernatorial race. Cutler, who lost to LePage by 1.7 percent in 2010, was seen as a drain on Michaud's poll figures due to their similar political leanings. The independent candidate averaged about 13 percent in October polls gathered by Ballotpedia, while LePage and Michaud each approached 40 percent. Cutler called an October 29 press conference to address these concerns, raising the hopes of Democratic supporters who asked for his withdrawal. He announced plans to remain in the race and stated, "Anyone who has supported me but who now worries that I cannot win and is thereby compelled by their fears or by their conscience to vote instead for Mr. LePage or Mr. Michaud should do so."[20]

U.S. Sen. Angus King (I) had a change of heart on the same day as Cutler's press conference. He endorsed Cutler in August, but switched his support to U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D) because "the voters of Maine are not prepared to elect Eliot in 2014."[21][22]

Campaign finance decision in district court

An August 22 decision by U.S. District Court judge D. Brock Hornby regarding campaign finance limits in Maine may have contributed to more money in the gubernatorial race. Hornby ruled that a group of four donors to the campaign of independent candidate Eliot Cutler could go beyond a $1,500 per person limit on general election contributions for unaffiliated candidates. Democratic and Republican candidates in Maine enjoy a higher contribution limit because they can max out the individual donation limit in the primary and general election reporting periods. Both major-party candidates did not face primary challenges this year, though the individual limit reset after the statewide primary on June 10.[23]

Attorneys representing the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices defended the contribution limits, citing their ability to reduce corrupt practices. The state's attorneys also argued that supporters can use PACs to support their preferred candidates. Hornby dismissed these arguments, noting that the current limitation treats contributors differently based on their political leanings. The decision left open the question of whether all donors to Cutler could contribute $3,000 ahead of the general election, or if the ruling focused on the four plaintiffs. The donors who brought the original lawsuit will also pursue further action to enshrine Hornby's decision into state law.[23]

The Maine Ethics Commission voted unanimously on August 27 to not enforce the $1,500 limit for each election, opting instead for a $3,000 per individual limit for the 2014 election cycle. The board's decision only applied to the 2014 election, and the Maine State Legislature would need to act for similar changes in future elections.[24]

Dueling campaign finance complaints

The Maine Democratic Party filed an ethics complaints in early October against Paul LePage, claiming that the governor used state property as part of his re-election campaign. The complaint argued that a campaign spokesperson used a state-funded vehicle in order to reach election-related events. The state Republican Party countered with a complaint against Mike Michaud that accused the U.S. House member of using federal campaign money for his gubernatorial campaign. The Maine Ethics Commission unanimously rejected further investigation of both claims on October 10, 2014.[25]

Michaud's revelation

On November 4, 2013, after establishing himself as the race's front-runner, Michaud disclosed in an op-ed column submitted to three of the state’s major news outlets that he is gay.[26] Michaud emphasized that his sexuality was irrelevant to his ability to perform in public office. He said he came out in response to "whisper campaigns" instigated by opponents in order to cast suspicion about his personal life.[27] The revelation put Michaud in the running to become the first openly gay man or woman to be elected governor in the nation's history, though he ultimately lost to Gov. LePage.

Debates

October 8 debate

Paul LePage (R), Mike Michaud (D) and Eliot Cutler (I) discussed the state's economic health during a debate that seemed unlikely to happen only a month earlier. LePage, who was reluctant to debate his opponents throughout the general election, touted the state's healthy budget and repayments to state hospitals as examples of his first-term successes. He also noted that Michaud was symbolic of the state's Democratic legislators, who had not delivered on past promises.[28]

Michaud countered that he was the only candidate on stage who had worked with Democrats and Republicans during his time in the United States House of Representatives. He also highlighted LePage's argumentative reputation with state legislators as a reason to replace him in the governor's office. Cutler noted that voters had an opportunity to turn their backs on failed policies from Republican and Democratic governors by casting ballots for his independent candidacy.[28]

Polls

General election match-ups (October 2014)

2014 Maine gubernatorial election- Three-way race
Poll Mike Michaud (D) Paul LePage* (R)Eliot Cutler (I)Undecided or refusedMargin of ErrorSample Size
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
{September 20-October 1, 2014}
39%37%10%13%+/-31,531
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
(October 5-7, 2014)
43%39%15%3%+/-4605
Bangor Daily News/Ipsos
(October 6-12, 2014)
42%36%16%6%+/-3.51,004
Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald
(October 15-21, 2014)
35%45%16%4%+/-3.8639
Public Policy Polling
(October 22-23, 2014)
40%40%17%3%+/-3.6660
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
(October 16-23, 2014)
37%35%7%21%+/-51,177
Magellan Strategies
(October 23-24, 2014)
41.6%42.3%13.2%2.9%+/-3.32869
Ipsos Poll
(October 23-29, 2014)
42%42%13%2%+/-3.51,005
AVERAGES 39.95% 39.54% 13.4% 6.86% +/-3.72 936.25
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

General election match-ups (August 2013-September 2014)

2014 Maine gubernatorial election - Three-way race
Poll Mike Michaud (D) Paul LePage* (R)Eliot Cutler (I)Undecided or refusedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
(August 23-25, 2013)
39%35%18%8%+/-3.2953
Maine People's Resource Center
(September 8-10, 2013)
40%34%16.8%9.1%+/-3.84652
Public Policy Poll
(November 8-11, 2013)
38%36%15%10%+/-3.2964
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
(January 13-23, 2014)
45%32%18%5%+/--400
Public Policy Polling
(April 1-2, 2014)
44%37%14%5%+/--583
The Pan Atlantic SMS Group
(March 31- April 5, 2014)
37.3%38.6%20.3%3.7%+/-4.9400
Rasmussen Reports
(April 23-25, 2014)
40%40%14%6%+/-3.0830
Public Policy Polling
(May 5-6, 2014)
43%39%15%3%+/--754
Maine People's Resource Center
(July 26-28, 2014)
42.6%41.4%12.6%3.4%+/-3.47796
Rasmussen Reports
(September 3-4, 2014)
43%39%15%4%+/-4750
Public Policy Polling
(September 9, 2014)
43%42%11%4%+/-31,059
Portland Press Herald
(September 18-25, 2014)
40%38%12%10%+/-4.4482
Pan Atlantic SMS Group
(September 23-29, 2014)
33.6%39.3%19.5%7.8%+/-4.9400
AVERAGES 40.65% 37.79% 15.48% 6.08% +/-2.38 694.08
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Note: An asterisk (*) is used to denote incumbent status
Hypothetical and other match-ups

2014 Maine gubernatorial election - Two-way race
Poll Mike Michaud (D) Paul LePage* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research/National Education Association
(July 11-16, 2013)
61%34%5%+/-4.9400
Public Policy Polling
(August 23-25, 2013)
54%39%7%+/-3.2953
Maine People's Resource Center
(September 8-10, 2013)
55.9%36.1%7.9%+/-3.84652
Public Policy Poll
(November 8-11, 2013)
53%39%8%+/-3.2964
Portland Press Herald
(June 12-18, 2014)
51%44%4%+/-3.9625
AVERAGES 54.98% 38.42% 6.38% +/-3.81 718.8
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Note: An asterisk (*) is used to denote incumbent status

Hypothetical Match-up Poll
Poll Mike Michaud (D) Paul LePage* (R)Eliot Cutler (I)Margin of ErrorSample Size
Portland Press Herald
(June 12-18, 2014)
40%36%15%+/-3.9625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Note: An asterisk (*) is used to denote incumbent status

Hypothetical Match-up Poll
Poll Eliot Cutler (I) Paul LePage* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Portland Press Herald
(June 12-18, 2014)
50%38%9%+/-3.9625
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Note: An asterisk (*) is used to denote incumbent status

2010

See also: Maine gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

Cutler faced Elizabeth Mitchell (D), Paul LePage (R), Kevin L. Scott (I) and Shawn H. Moody (I) in the general election on November 2, 2010.


Governor of Maine, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPaul LePage 37.6% 218,065
     Democratic Elizabeth Mitchell 18.8% 109,387
     Independent Eliot R. Cutler 35.9% 208,270
     Independent Shawn H. Moody 5% 28,756
     Independent Kevin L. Scott 1% 5,664
     Others Various 0.5% 2,624
     Blanks - 1.3% 7,772
Total Votes 580,538
Election Results Via: Maine Secretary of State

Campaign donors

2010

In an investigation, Maine Watchdog looked at the contributions to all Maine gubernatorial candidates and found that the largest share of Cutler’s financing came out of his own pocketbook at $925,000.00. His total contributions, as of October 2010, for the campaign were $1,355,000.00.[29]

Personal

Cutler and his wife, Melanie, have two adult children.[3]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Eliot + Cutler + Maine + Governor"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Eliot Cutler News Feed

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See also

External links

Campaign Facebook
Campaign Twitter
Campaign YouTube

References

  1. Public Policy Polling, "Michaud leads in Maine gubernatorial race," August 27, 2013
  2. Bangor Daily News, "Independent Eliot Cutler announces run for governor in Bangor," September 24, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Cutler for Maine, "FAQ," accessed September 30, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 On The Issues, "Eliot Cutler Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
  5. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  6. Portland Press Herald, "Leery of third-place pattern, Democrats already have eyes on Blaine House," November 20, 2012
  7. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," March 4, 2013
  8. Maine Sun Journal, "Republican Flood throws support to independent Cutler in Maine governor's race," August 6, 2014
  9. Bangor Daily News, "King endorses fellow independent Cutler for Maine governor," August 19, 2014
  10. Portland Press Herald, "Angus King switches endorsement from Cutler to Michaud," October 29, 2014
  11. Cutler for Maine, "Issues," accessed September 30, 2014
  12. Maine Biz, "LePage eyes long-term goals, says 2014 run likely," May 8, 2013
  13. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," March 4, 2013
  14. University of Virginia Center for Politics: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," April 29, 2013
  15. The Washington Post, "The Fix's top gubernatorial races," September 27, 2013
  16. Daily Kos, "Daily Kos Elections gubernatorial race ratings: Initial ratings for 2013-14," October 6, 2013
  17. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 12, 2012
  18. The Morning Sentinel, "LePage: Sorry if you were offended," June 24, 2013
  19. The Washington Post blogs, "Rep. Mike Michaud steps into Maine governors race," June 13, 2013
  20. Portland Press Herald, "Cutler staying in race, insists Mainers should ‘vote their conscience’," October 29, 2014
  21. Bangor Daily News, "King endorses fellow independent Cutler for Maine governor," August 19, 2014
  22. Portland Press Herald, "Angus King switches endorsement from Cutler to Michaud," October 29, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 The Bellingham Herald, "Judge: Cutler donors can increase contributions," August 22, 2014
  24. Bangor Daily News, "Maine Ethics Commission changes donor limit rule in governor’s race," August 27, 2014
  25. Portland Press Herald, "Maine ethics panel dismisses complaints in governor’s race," October 11, 2014
  26. Portland Press Herald, "Rep. Michaud’s op-ed column: Yes, I’m gay. Now let’s get our state back on track," November 4, 2013
  27. Portland Press Herald, "Maine governor candidate Mike Michaud: I’m gay ," accessed November 4, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 Reuters, "Maine governor, Democratic challenger face off amid tight race," October 8, 2014
  29. "Gubernatorial Contribution Analysis," Maine Watchdog, October 7, 2010