GOP 2nd Congressional District candidate Bruce Poliquin has made it to “young guns” status in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruitment program. He was one of nine Republican candidates from across the country that the committee announced on Monday had been added to the list.
The program selects GOP hopefuls to support and mentor who they feel have a shot at defeating their Democratic challengers. The “young guns” are candidates who are engaged in the most competitive elections in the 2014 cycle, the NRCC website says.
“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden in a statement. “Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration.”
Poliquin is in a tight race against State Sen. Emily Cain, D-Orono. The latest polling, conducted by the Portland Press Herald in June, showed that Cain held a slight lead over him. But in August, the Washington Post predicted that Poliquin had a 64 percent chance of winning the election. Their prediction uses election data that reaches back more than 30 years.
Last November, both Poliquin and his opponent in the Republican primary, Kevin Raye, were labeled “on the radar,” the first step in the NRCC’s program.
Raye had also made it to “Young Guns” status in 2012 when he challenged Rep. Mike Michaud for the 2nd Congressional District seat, though the designation did not secure him a victory.