Eyeing Split Electoral Vote, Donald Trump Heading to Maine | NECN
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Eyeing Split Electoral Vote, Donald Trump Heading to Maine

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Trump campaign will be making its third visit to Maine this week: a Thursday town hall in Portland. (Published Monday, Aug. 1, 2016)

    The Trump campaign will be making its third visit to Maine this week: a Thursday town hall in Portland.

    It's not common for a presidential candidate to pay so much attention to the small, blue state with just four electoral college votes.

    "I think he's probably looking for new areas to build supporters," said University of Southern Maine political science professor Ron Schmidt. "I think both campaigns [Trump’s and Clinton’s] are deciding not to take anything for granted.”

    Schmidt said Trump may not be able to win the entire state of Maine, but could come away with at least one, if not three, electoral college votes. Maine is one of just two states in the country with a split electoral college vote instead of winner-takes-all.

    "I don't think anyone is deciding that traditionally safe Democratic or Republican states can be removed from the table," said Schmidt.

    Trump may be able to win support in the northern half of the state: Maine's more conservative 2nd Congressional District.

    "[Trump] appeals to a more blue collar, working class voter that I think really encapsulates the second district particularly," said Matt Gagnon, CEO of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center.

    It's a district where Republican Governor Paul LePage has won easily. The district also recently elected Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin, for a seat that had been held by Democrat Mike Michaud for years.

    The Trump campaign may also see Maine as fertile ground for Democrat and Independent converts. In the caucuses, Maine overwhelmingly voted in favor of Bernie Sanders.

    "Hillary Clinton has violated everything the people of Maine believe in," said Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jeff Savage. "I think you have people on either side of the aisle who have yet to make up their mind."

    Trump previously held rallies in Bangor in June and Portland in March.


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