Maine Democrats may choose not to run anyone for U.S. Senate this year. See this story, which says that the petition deadline (for candidates to get on the June 2012 primary) is in two days, and so far petitions have not been submitted for any Democrat, even though such petitions have been gathered. Maine Democrats must decide whether to abstain from this race, because former independent Governor Angus King will run as an independent this year, and has the potential to win.
Democrats don’t want a repeat of the 2010 Maine gubernatorial race, when an independent, Eliot Cutler, placed second, almost defeating the Republican nominee. The Democratic nominee received 19.1%, placing third. Many people believe that a large majority of people who voted for the Democrat in 2010 would have voted for Cutler if no Democrat had been running.
The repetition of two elections in a row with three November nominees strong enough to win ought to cause Maine voters to think seriously about using Instant Runoff Voting, or perhaps Approval Voting, for federal and state office. The idea is not foreign to Maine, because Portland, the largest city in the state, uses IRV for Mayor.