Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

The Final Two Weeks: Maine CD2 Making News

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Mitt Romney spoke earlier this year in Nebraska, the only other state that can split its electoral votes. Journal Star file photo.

With the November 6th election drawing closer, voters have been given a lot to think about. The 3 presidential debates have had a significant effect on voter attitudes and perhaps the overall outcome of the election, and with just two weeks left in their campaigns, President Obama and Governor Romney both need every vote they can get.

In Maine, the historic pattern of voting Democrat statewide and in the first congressional district is unlikely to waver this year, however Republicans may still have a chance to clinch the second congressional district. In this final stretch of the campaign, Romney supporters will try to split the state’s vote and gain that of Maine’s CD2 – an unprecedented accompishment for either party.

On Monday, pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future sent an email to supporters expressing the importance of gaining any votes possible, listing Maine’s CD2 among target areas. ROF plans to air $300,000 worth of ads in the key regions of Maine later this week and into next week. With just one vote up for grabs, however, the question is raised: Can this surge of effort make a difference, or is it too little too late?

While many may look to the polls for answers, they present conflicting information on the subject. Most polls suggest that Obama has a comfortable advantage over Romney in Maine in both congressional districts. Some polling shows Obama’s lead shrinking in both districts. And reports from NMB Research have Romney ahead by somewhere in the range of 40% in CD2.

Polls aside, these last ditch efforts may well be money ill-spent when neither candidate has fully succeeded in wooing true swing states such as Ohio and Florida. Another question arises here. Should Republicans make history and win one of the votes from Maine, will it make a possibly election-winning difference overall? A Tuesday post in CNN’s Political Ticker blog presents a scenario in which Romney’s acquisition of Maine’s CD2 vote could tie the entire electoral college vote, 269 to 269. How’s that for a doozy?

So, should gaining this singular vote from Maine’s CD2 hypothetically be at the top of Romney’s to-do list? Maybe. It could change the outcome of the election entirely. But when it comes down to it, Maine’s voting history is as trustworthy a predictor of any in this year’s tight race, and Obama probably doesn’t have much to worry about here.


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