Phil: Strim, your favorite day is approaching.
Ethan: Election Day! Although, it is a little weird having it in July.
Phil: And that means it is time for us to put up or shut up.
Ethan: Predictions! Who will win the Republican primary in the 2nd Congressional District?
Phil: This will probably be the tightest race of Election Day.
Phil: I did originally think Brakey would take it. His name ID, grassroots network, and fundraising made me think it was his to lose. However, I watched a debate and came away thinking that Crafts will win with 40 percent; Adrienne Bennet at 32 percent; and Brakey at 28 percent.
Ethan: Wow. I think that would be considered quite an upset. My take is that it will be Brakey 40 percent, Bennett 35 percent, Crafts 25 percent. But then with ranked-choice voting, Bennett wins 52-48. And then the fun begins with Republicans tearing each other up over who actually won!
Phil: Your party brought us RCV. It’s too bad you couldn’t find a way to make it applicable to your presidential party nomination. Republicans like elections just the way the Constitution intended. Who do you think will win the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate?
Ethan: This one is a heartbreaker. Betsy Sweet is like a sister to me (and someone I donated to), but I just don’t see her squeaking this one out.
Phil: Don’t let your emotions influence you, young Jedi. It’s not going to even be close. Millions in big corporate and union money have flowed to Sara Gideon, Sen. Chuck Schumer’s chosen rubber stamp.
Ethan: Just as Sen. Mitch McConnell has made sure to reward Susan Collins for all her fealty to President Trump. I predict that this race will generate $100 million in spending when all the super PACs are done.
Phil: My prediction is that it will be a rout. As multiple polls suggested, Gideon has been leading Sweet by more than 50 points throughout the primary. My final prediction is that Gideon holds that lead and wins with 70 percent to Sweet’s 25 percent and Bre Kidman’s 5 percent.
Ethan: Ouch. I do think Gideon will win, but I think Betsy has closed well, pushing issues Mainers care about like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. I will call it 60-35-5, Gideon, Sweet, Kidman.
Phil: We have a little noticed, yet very impactful, election going on in Portland this Tuesday. The people of your fair city will be voting on whether to reopen the city charter to fix all the problems the last charter commission created 10 years ago.
Ethan: Obviously, I have personal experience with this city leadership debacle. And now that Black Lives Matter has rallied behind ridding us of the final vestiges of our city manager form of government, which was endorsed by the KKK in the 1920s, I feel a tiny bit of satisfaction.
Phil: BLM or not, Portland needs one person in charge and in my view that person should be an elected mayor. I say it passes 52-48.
Ethan: I am less optimistic. I expect a 55-45 vote against, but only because most of the current council continues to ignore BLM and wants to protect the status quo. But I hope you are right. And, what about the LePage effect? In an interesting twist, former Gov. Paul LePage has endorsed in three Republican primaries.
Phil: The former governor is not one to go quietly into that good night. But yes, you are correct. He has endorsed former Sen. Doug Thomas over incumbent Sen. Paul Davis in Piscatquis County, businessman John Linnehan over former Sen. Brian Langley in Hancock County, and he is looking to replace incumbent Sen. Kimberly Rosen in Penobscot County with Rep. Larry Lockman.
Phil: Yes. He is still very influential with the party faithful who vote in primaries and I expect he will lean in hard over this final weekend.
Ethan: I think he will lose all three. Linnehan is unhinged. Lockman is, well, I already explained. And we called Sen. Davis “Senator No!” when I served with him, so he’s plenty conservative enough to hang onto LePage voters.
Phil: The predictions are in! Scotch is on me if you win, but since you won’t, I like mine neat.
Ethan: Don’t forget to vote, everyone! Even you, Phil.
Phil Harriman served as a town councilor and state senator from Yarmouth. Ethan Strimling served as mayor and state senator from Portland.