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United States Elections

2020 Maine House Races: Predictions and More

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2020 Maine House Races

If you’re looking for predictions on the 2020 Maine House races, you came to the right place.

In our quest to predict all 435 House races, in addition to the presidential election, US Senate races, and the governor’s races, we give you mighty Maine’s two seats for consideration. The last national elections in 2018 were the first for Maine to use ranked-choice voting, moving away from a strict first-past-the-post system. What we got was similar to how Australia runs its elections: candidates with fewer votes get eliminated and their votes were redistributed until just two are left (the “two-party preferred” result). One will then in theory have a majority of the vote, unless it is a tie. Unlike in Australia, should a candidate get a simple majority on the primary vote, votes are not redistributed and that candidate is the winner. Down Under, they play out the two-party preferred count even if the winner is known.

This turned out to stick in Bruce Poliquin’s craw. Poliquin was the incumbent Republican congressman for Maine’s 2nd District, easily the more friendly of the two seats to the GOP. You may remember Donald Trump getting its electoral vote, after all. Anyway, Poliquin edged out Democrat Jared Golden on the first preferences, but as minor-party candidate votes scattered, Golden slipped past Poliquin and won the seat. With an unkind instant runoff system, Poliquin’s camp sued as to the constitutionality of the new voting procedures. That suit was dismissed and Golden took his seat.1

As a result, we now have two Democrats serving Maine in the House of Representatives. Will it stay that way in 2020 or will ranked-choice voting send an unexpecting incumbent out of office?

ME US House Rating Scale

See this chart showing how we will rate the 2020 Maine House races. This scale was created to eliminate the tossup.

Election Rating Chart Maine US House

2020 Maine House Races Current Prediction Summary: October 31

2020 Maine House Races - 10-31-20 predictions

Current Maine US House Map

2020 Maine House Races - pre-election map

Maine-01

Maine-01 US House

Democratic Hold - Safe ME-01

The GOP has only held this seat for two years since the 1980s. This is the more liberal of the two districts and by far the more densely-populated, including many of the state’s coastal holiday cities and towns such as Portland, Falmouth, Ogunquit, and Kennebunkport. Chellie Pingree has been around for a while now and has never been in serious trouble in a re-election run.

Maine-02

Maine-02 US House

Democratic Hold - Strong Lean

RATINGS CHANGE, OCT 31: D1 to D2

For obvious reasons, more Republican attention is being paid to the 2nd District. Golden should be considered the favorite as the incumbent, but why just a “weak lean” when we don’t know the GOP nominee yet? Keep in mind that Donald Trump could carry this district again, which could damage Golden in a close race. This is a guarded prediction but for now, the incumbent must still be favored.

Maine House References

1: Marina Villeneuve and Patrick Whittle, “Judge tosses lawsuit by GOP congressman who lost election,” Associated Press, December 13, 2018, https://apnews.com/646e23e07a3a4f63b26e6af8ef392e68/)

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