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Chellie Pingree for Congress – Maine's 1st District: Pingree Emerges Victorious From 6-Way Primary and Wins General Election

chellie pingree

The Office 
The race for Congress in Maine’s 1st District.

The Candidate 
Chellie Pingree, former Maine Senate majority leader, former president and CEO of Common Cause, proud mother of three, and fighter for middle class families.

The Challenge 
After incumbent Congressman Tom Allen announced he would challenge U.S. Senator Susan Collins, candidates quickly lined up on both sides of the aisle to fill the empty seat. On the Democratic side, Chellie faced five well-qualified challengers, including a decorated Iraq war veteran and several accomplished state legislators.

The Outcome 
In the Primary: Chellie garnered a commanding plurality (44%) of the vote. 
In the General: Chellie cruised to victory with 55% of the vote.

The Methodology 
Lake Research Partners employed early survey research, helping Chellie craft a message that cut through the noise of a crowded primary field. We found that voters were far less interested in personal biography than in demonstrated experience fighting on behalf of middle class families in Maine. Salient themes included Chellie’s early opposition to the War in Iraq, her courage in taking on the special interests to reduce prescription drug costs, and her efforts to protect jobs and the local environment. LRP also identified essential micro-targets for GOTV and persuasion – information that was utilized by the field, mail, and media teams to assemble a winning coalition on Election Day.

Later, LRP guided Pingree to victory in the general election over a tough Republican opponent, Charlie Summers. LRP’s research helped Chellie refine her message for a general electorate without sacrificing the core principles that defined her candidacy: leadership, accountability, speaking truth to power, and making the economy work for the middle class again. Research was also critical in helping inoculate Chellie from likely Republican attacks.

The Team 
Lake Research Partners (Celinda LakeDr. Robert G. MeadowDaniel GotoffMark KeidaMatt Price
Dixon/Davis Media Group 
Hildebrand Tewes Consulting