Election Day is eight months away, and even this far out, it looks like every vote will count in the race for governor. Yet as close at will be, there are some simple things the candidates could do to greatly increase their chances of victory.

Most voters have long made their opinions up about our governor. Those voters who identify strongly with Paul LePage will give our governor at least 30 percent of the vote. I believe LePage can get the same 38 percent as he did in 2010 in one way — by censuring himself as Election Day draws nearer. If LePage can avoid negative publicity about unnecessary remarks, it is likely he will gain enough votes to land him back in Augusta.

No one can deny Mike Michaud’s commitment to Maine. Popular in a historically more conservative part of the state, Michaud will certainly attract votes from the 2nd District. Michaud, however, needs to capture at least one more demographic section if he is to be victorious in November — young Mainers. Michaud will certainly need to prove to our younger generation, particularly in Cumberland and York counties, that he is the best choice for our future citizens.

Then there is Eliot Cutler. His success in November will be decided by his ability to win over the vote of those who might normally relate better to Michaud. It is important that a lawyer living in Cape Elizabeth make himself seem like a man who has an interest in the affairs of all Mainers from north to south and east to west.

I urge all Mainers to think carefully about their votes. In November, three names will appear on the ballot — each one representing a very different ideology. If there was ever a time to not skimp on the right to vote, this is the year. Every vote counts.

Spencer ShagouryHallowell

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