There's a decent chance his name won't ring a bell, but the Washington Post today declares Angus King to be the "most important Senate candidate in the country." As the Fix blog explains, King is running for Olympia Snowe's seat in Maine, and as a popular former governor, he makes for a strong candidate. The wrinkle: He's an independent, and that messes up the easy math on which party will control the Senate come November.
What's more, "given that the battle for the majority could be close, it’s not unreasonable to think that King could be a King-maker—for somebody—come January 2013," writes Aaron Blake. The smart money is that King, like independents Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders, would caucus with Democrats. But the candidate, who is wealthy and doesn't need much party help, hasn't tipped his hand. One sign to watch: If Democrats field a weak candidate of their own, which would help King beat the Republican in the race.