Maine Public staff

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

It’s Friday and time again for Maine's Political Pulse.

This week host Keith Shorthall is sitting in for Irwin Gratz, and he’s speaking with Statehouse Bureau Chief Steve Mistler and Chief Political Correspondent Mal Leary. They’ll take a look at campaign spending and how various polls might provide perspective on how Maine politicians are doing in the ramp up to the 2020 election.

Three years ago, candidate Donald Trump rose to the Presidency with the help of Evangelical Christians. But why did they support his cause, and will they support him again in 2020? These are questions that NPR’s Tom Gjelten has been exploring in his reporting over the past few years. As he told Maine Calling’s Jennifer Rooks, while Trump won the backing of more than 80 percent of white evangelicals in 2016, there are growing points of conflict, including the president’s recent decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria.

Stories of fake news continue to make headlines, get spread by political leaders, and raise questions about what and whom to believe. Advances in technology now make it easy to create fake images and videos, a trend that raises alarms as we enter election season. We’ll discuss what more we’ve learned about identifying and combatting fake news, and what are some practical ways to counterbalance its impact on society.

We will learn about the newly created Office of Policy Innovation & the Future, which Governor Mills chose Hannah Pingree to lead. Pingree’s role forges new territory beyond what was the scope of the state planning office, including future-oriented areas, such as climate change and children’s issues. Pingree will explain the challenges and goals of the office, and her hopes for what she can achieve in this uncharted role.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

This week, host Irwin Gratz speaks with statehouse bureau chief Steve Mistler and chief political correspondent Mal Leary about the race for Maine’s 2nd District seat. It was one the seats that Democrats flipped in the 2018 Congressional election when Jared Golden narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin. Another close race is possible coming up as more Republican's have entered the race.