With its past voting record, controversial Governor, competitive Congressional race, and electoral vote allocation, Maine proves to be a state to watch in the 2016 presidential race.

Recent polling shows Clinton ahead of Trump by +9 statewide; however, Trump is leading Clinton in the 2nd Congressional district by +5. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that allocate electoral votes by CDP (Congressional District – Popular). In Maine, this means that two electoral votes are given on behalf of the entire state and one is given on behalf of each congressional district, four in total.

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Let’s not forget about our third party candidate, Gary Johnson. He is showing significant support in Maine of about 12%. No surprise there; Maine has often been a supporter of a third party candidate, but has only sparked about 1-2% support in the past.

If Maine wasn’t different enough,, let’s add that they participate in referendums by having voters cast their vote for particular legislation, directly on the ballot, on Election Day. Important issues on this year’s ballot include:

  1. Marijuana legalization
  2. Funding for education
  3. Background checks for gun sales
  4. Raising the minimum wage
  5. Ranked-choice voting
  6. Funding for infrastructure

Broadly, overall public opinion in the state shows interest in issues regarding:

    1. Budget
    2. Education
    3. Elections
    4. Energy
    5. Healthcare
    6. Environment
<> on June 20, 2016 in Fairfax, Virginia.
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Maine hasn’t seen much traditional messaging in terms of television advertisements with about 170 spots being aired since June. However, since Labor Day, when the election really got going, there have been new advertisements produced by two opposing gun legislation groups regarding Question 3 on the state referendum (expanded background checks), the National Rifle Association and Everytown for Gun Safety.

In local news, there has been some restructuring at the state level. Governor LePage is infamous for his racist comments and harsh rhetoric. In response to his comments, a mural was painted by the citizens that depicted him in KKK regalia. He is considering resignation.

Both of Maine’s Congressional districts are electing members to the House of Representatives on the election ballot in November. Emily Cain (D) is challenging incumbent Bruce Poliquin (R) in the 2nd District and Mark Holbrook (R) is challenging incumbent Chellie Pingree (D) in the 1st District.

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UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 08: Emily Cain, left, Democratic candidate for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, visits businesses owned by immigrants with Fatuma Hussein, from Somalia, in Lewiston, Maine, September 8, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There is more to watch in the upcoming weeks until November. Stay connected to keep up to date in Maine.

 

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