A post on Monday in Mike Tipping’s blog about Maine politics for the Bangor Daily News‘ described Maine as “just like Ohio, except with more trees and fewer electoral votes.” This comparison may have something to it.
In the midst of early voting in Iowa and Ohio and Pennsylvania’s changed status on voter IDs, Maine might not seem like a state to focus on. However, Maine’s second congressional district may be more pivotal to the results of the general election than its size and number of electoral votes would suggest.
The latest polls on the status of the presidential election in the Pine Tree State show that over 50% of Mainers favor Obama in general, think he will do a better job with health care policy, and trust him more on international affairs. In CD2 alone, 46% favor Obama over Romney.
Despite these Obama-favoring numbers, Romney is putting some effort into swaying Maine’s CD2, as he should. Nate Silver ranks CD2 the 14th most likely tipping point state, and Tipping argues that this district alone should be considered between Ohio and Wisconsin for competitiveness in the race.
In an attempt to gain some momentum in the state, Romney surrogate and RNC Committee Chairman Reince Priebus paid a visit to one of 10 GOP “victory centers” in Westbrook, Maine last Friday. Priebus made attacks on the Obama administration and praised Maine Republicans. Romney’s son, Tagg, was there with Priebus, but they did not say if any other Republican hotshots would be in the state in upcoming weeks.
It’s important for Romney’s campaign that the GOP does make its presence known in Maine as the election draws nearer. If Romney can make enough of an impression in that second congressional district, he will secure another electoral vote. And, as we know, every one counts.