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Republican Bruce Poliquin Re-Elected in Maine’s 2nd District

Contest was a rematch against Democrat Emily Cain

Rep. Bruce Poliquin has been called the winner in Maine’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File photo)
Rep. Bruce Poliquin has been called the winner in Maine’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File photo)

GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin will defeat Emily Cain in Maine’s 2nd District, The Associated Press projects.

Poliquin led Cain 55.2% percent to 44.8 percent with 77 percent of precincts reporting.

[Election Results 2016]

Winning Maine’s 2nd District, which is the state’s northern, mostly rural district, had been seen as a key to Democrats’ efforts to take back the House. After years of Democratic representation, Poliquin won this seat in 2014, a strong year for Republicans nationally and in Maine. No incumbent has lost the seat in 100 years. 

Poliquin bested Cain 47 percent to 42 percent in 2014. Democrats recruited Cain to run again just months after that loss.

The district typically votes Democratic at the presidential level. But since Maine is one of two states that splits its electoral votes by district, Donald Trump has been making a play for its one electoral vote. His populist message had been resonating with the district’s white working class voters. 

Poliquin had refused to endorse Trump.

Cain endorsed Hillary Clinton, and Republicans tried to cast her as a rubber stamp for the Democratic presidential nominee. 

[When House Challengers Have Their Districts to Themselves]

Both Cain and Poliquin and outside groups tried to portray their opponents as out-of-touch with the district

Coming into Election Day, the race was rated as a Tossup by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. Recent polling showed Cain and Poliquin locked in a close contest.

[As Maine’s 2nd District Goes, So Goes the Nation?]

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