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  Angus King's ransom: Which side would he join in Senate?
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ContributorJason 
Last EditedJason  Mar 09, 2012 01:08pm
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CategorySpeculative
News DateFriday, March 9, 2012 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionAngus King’s candidacy in the Maine Senate race is putting Democratic leaders in an awkward spot: They’d like to embrace him but they can’t.

King, the independent candidate in the Maine Senate race and former two-term governor, is the odds-on favorite to win. If that happens, his decision over which party to caucus with could tip the balance of power in a narrowly divided Senate.

That’s put Democrats in a pickle: Publicly embrace King and infuriate their eventual nominee as well as some elements of their base. Or rally behind their party’s nominee and risk splitting the vote between Democrats and independents, potentially giving Republicans a crucial victory in the blue state.

For now, Democrats have settled on this strategy: Say nice things but stay noncommittal.

“I understand he’s a fine man,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told POLITICO on Thursday, adding he has yet to speak with King. “We’re watching to see what’s going to happen in Maine.”
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