Good news, Dean Scontras. Former Bangor Daily News political reporter John Day thinks you can win the First Congressional District race. That brings the number of alleged experts predicting a victory by Republican Scontras over incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree to: One.

Day, who doesn’t live in the First District (or, for much of the year, in Maine), arrived at his assessment by observing the fervor with which Tea Party members crowded streets to wave flags last winter. In Florida.

“Based on the huge GOP primary turnout,” he wrote in an e-mail, “[and] the move by non-enrolled voters two-one signing up as GOP voters, why wouldn’t the First District be in play? Pingree has put her name on $2 trillion of Obama deficit-spending bills. She hasn’t been there as long as [Second District Congressman Mike] Michaud, who at least tries to act like a Blue Dog once in a while.”

Good to learn that retirement hasn’t dulled Day’s trademark flair for being wrong.

Under his scenario, Tea Party forces that helped boost Republican Paul LePage to the Republican gubernatorial nomination will do the same for Scontras in the general election. If they can wave flags in the Sunshine State, they can sway the outcome in Maine.

Trouble is, almost nobody, including a lot of Tea Partiers, believes this. The TP turnout in the June primary wasn’t so much motivated by any candidate as by opposition to the tax-reform measure passed by the Legislature. A lot of LePage’s votes were an afterthought by people who may not even know there’s another election in November.

That’s not to say everyone disagrees with Day about the Tea Party’s potential impact on the congressional race. There’s at least one person who thinks he got it right.

Unfortunately, it’s Dean Scontras.

For those who came in late, Scontras appeared on the state’s political scene in 2008, when he ran unsuccessfully for Congress. He supported replacing the federal income tax with a value-added tax on consumption (woops, I wonder if the Tea Partiers who killed a lower state income tax and a broader sales tax know that).

He wanted to increase oil drilling. He was for less government regulation, unless that meant gay people getting married or women having abortions, in which cases he was for all the regulation he could get, including constitutional amendments.

Scontras said he was reviving “the spirit of Ronald Reagan” and called his platform “Republican 2.0.”

After he lost the primary to a more moderate opponent, Scontras formed a political action committee called the Republican Project in an effort to “keep the party focused on traditional core Republican principles.”

As you may have noticed, he said the word “Republican” a lot back then. Today, not so much.

In a June 14 speech in Portland to kick off his campaign, Scontras mentioned the party he’s registered in exactly once. He said his candidacy symbolized “a spirit shared by Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike. This is a greater movement, fueled and united by the belief in greater constitutional axioms of limited government and greater freedoms.”

I wonder who that was aimed at.

Scontras evoked Reagan again, but this time, he dredged up another icon to accompany the Great Communicator. He said he wanted to return to the governing philosophy “practiced by presidents like John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.”

Wait, wasn’t Kennedy a socialized-medicine leftie?

Scontras — the guy who told the GOP state convention in 2008, “I will not compromise. I will not moderate. And I will not appease” — now doesn’t want to be labeled as a member of the Republican Party. In his Portland speech, he said it was time to take back the majority in the U.S. House, but then added that would be a majority “not necessarily of party, but of a spirit embodied by all those who embrace the greater and timeless American notion — greater liberty and less government.”

I don’t think that was aimed at attracting support from anarchists.

Scontras is by trade a sales and marketing guy. He recognized that his previous product, the aforementioned Republican 2.0, wasn’t what was needed to close the deal. So, he gave himself a makeover, but the upgrade wasn’t to GOP 3.0. Without mentioning the Tea Party by name, he proclaimed himself the personification of its agenda. In his words, he’s “like Paul Revere sounding the alarm.”

Or more accurately, like Toyota, trying to damp down the alarm. Wouldn’t want all those moderate First District voters to think he’s that same scary right-winger from ’08, with his accelerator pedal still stuck on overdrive.

Scontras has stayed true to his no-compromise, no-moderation, no-appeasement pledge. But he never said anything about no pandering. So, he’s tinkered with his image to make himself appear less partisan and more Tea Party-ish.

John Day’s bought the new model. Anybody else?

I hate tea parties. In fact, I hate any party that doesn’t serve beer. Keep that in mind if you e-mail aldiamon@herniahill.net and invite me to something.