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Maine District 2: Romney vs. Obama

Analysis

Maine is one of two states that allocates its electoral college votes by congressional district:  The winner of each of the two congressional districts receives one elector, while the statewide winner receives an additional two electors.  Absent a major change in the national dynamics, Barack Obama will win the two statewide electors, as well as the elector for the 1st congressional district.  The 2nd district, however, is a different beast entirely.  The rural northern portions of the state are much more conservative than the remainder of the state.  The district was made marginally more Republican in redistricting; Bush came within 17,000 votes of Kerry under the new lines, according to data compiled by POLIDATA, and provided courtesy of the Cook Political Report.   Romney could run better than Bush here because he presently runs about five points net ahead of Bush nationally among whites; this district is almost all white.  While we don’t have any independent polling data here, if the district follows the national trends, this could end up a very close electoral contest on Election Day.

If Maine’s second district does end up voting for Romney, it actually provides a few scenarios where Romney could end up with 269 electoral votes.  Two scenarios in particular stand out.  In both instances, Romney wins the McCain states, plus Indiana, Florida, and North Carolina.  In one scenario, Romney also wins Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and the second district.  In another, he also wins New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin and Iowa.  If this were to transpire, the House of Representatives would decide the Electoral College winner, with each state receiving one vote.  In this circumstance, Romney would almost certainly be elected President.

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