June 24, 2013
Brian Duff, Ph.D., UNE associate professor of political science, was interviewed for June 21 and June 23 Associated Press stories on the impact of Gov. Paul LePage's sexually vulgar phrase to express his frustration over the state budget and his announcement that he may run for Congress instead of governor in 2014.
Duff told the Associated Press he doesn’t think LePage could win the 2nd Congressional District if he ran against a mainstream Democrat.
"He’s just too far to the right,’’ he said. ‘‘He might make it competitive, he might get 45, 46, 47 percent. But I'd be very surprised to see LePage take fire in a congressional race.’’
With respect to LePage's impact on the state budget and GOP legislators' chances for re-election in 2014, Duff noted that "For a sizable chunk of the electorate, his blunt talk is not a problem and is probably an asset. ... He speaks from his heart and he hates the idea of extending government and hates the idea of social programs that might keep people dependent on the government, whether it's health care or unemployment or food stamps. He speaks about it with a visceral distaste."
But he added: "Republicans are frustrated. The big question would be is it going to frustrate somebody enough that somebody will run against him in the (2014 Republican gubernatorial) primary."
Duff is the author of The Parent as Citizen: A Democratic Dilemma. He has also published research on feminist theory, voting, and the politics of race and ethnicity.