Under the Dome: 2018 Maine Midterm Election Results
We are pleased to provide you this summary of yesterday’s federal and state election results in the state of Maine. Some races remain undetermined because they are too close to call, and one race has triggered another round of tabulations as a result of Maine’s ranked-choice voting process. With over 80% of precincts reporting, however, this special edition of Under the Dome brings you the latest tabulations.
Angus King Re-elected to U.S. Senate; No Ranked-Choice Runoff
Senator Angus King (I) was easily re-elected to his second term in the U.S. Senate. Senator King received 55% of the total first-round votes cast, thereby avoiding the need for engaging the ranked-choice process. Senator King’s opponents, Republican State Senator Eric Brakey and Democrat Zak Ringelstein, received 35% and 10%, respectively, of the total first-round votes.
Chellie Pingree Re-elected to First District; No Ranked-Choice Runoff
Incumbent Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) was also easily re-elected with 59% of the vote. By earning a majority of the first-round votes, Congresswoman Pingree avoided the need for additional rounds of tabulation under Maine’s ranked-choice voting process. Republican candidate Mark Holbrook received 32% of the vote, and Independent candidate Martin Grohman received 9% of the vote. Congresswoman Pingree will be serving her sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
No Winner in Second District; Ranked-Choice Voting Process Triggered
In a hotly contested race for Maine’s Second Congressional District, no candidate garnered more than 50% of first-round votes. Thus, under Maine’s ranked-choice voting process, additional rounds of tabulation are required. The current results are: incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin, 46% of the vote; Democrat Jared Golden, 46% of the vote; Independent Tiffany Bond, 6% of the vote; and Independent William Hoar, 2% of the vote. The ballots are being transported to Augusta, where Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap’s office will oversee the additional rounds of tabulations. William Hoar, who has apparently received the lowest number of votes, will be eliminated, and each vote cast for him will be reassigned to his second choice candidate, and the results will be retabulated. This process will repeat itself until a candidate emerges with more than 50% of the vote to become the winner.
Democrats Take the Governor's Office with Mills Victory over Moody
Janet Mills is Maine’s new governor-elect following her victory in yesterday’s election. Mills, a Democrat who currently serves as the state’s Attorney General, garnered 51% of the vote, defeating Republican businessman Shawn Moody, who secured 43% of the vote, and Independent State Treasurer Terry Hayes, who received 6% of the vote. Independent Alan Caron, who withdrew from the race on October 29 to endorse Mills, but whose name remained on the ballot, did not have his votes counted in the final tally. Mills will be inaugurated on January 2, 2019.
Maine Senate Flips to Democratic Control in the 129th Legislature
Democrats appear to have won enough seats to earn the majority party position in the Maine State Senate, which has been under Republican control for two consecutive sessions. Currently, there are 21 Democrats who have either won or are leading their respective races, compared to 14 Republicans. However, many of these races have not been officially called. Based on the unofficial and incomplete results, of the 35 Senate seats, it appears that 13 of them will be filled with first-term senators, consisting of 7 Republicans and 6 Democrats. It also appears that 9 currently-serving House members have been elected to the Maine Senate.
Democrats Hold Maine House Majority in 129th Legislature
Democrats have maintained control of the Maine House. Currently, 89 Democrats have either won or are leading their respective races, compared to 57 Republicans and 5 Independent candidates. Again, many of these races have not been officially called and these totals may change when all votes are tallied. This will be the fourth consecutive session in which Democrats have held the majority in the House. At this time, it appears that 9 House incumbents lost their bids for re-election.
Next Steps for the 129th Legislature
Democrats and Republicans will caucus in November to elect new leadership for their respective caucuses and to nominate their candidates for Speaker of the House and President of the Senate. In the Maine House, Speaker Sara Gideon won re-election and is expected to retain that role. However, the majority and minority leadership positions in the House are open, so new leaders will emerge. In the Maine Senate, out-going President Michael Thibodeau and Majority Leader Garrett Mason were unable to run for re-election because they had reached their four-term limit, so new Republican leadership will emerge in the Senate. On the Democratic side, current Minority Leader Troy Jackson and Assistant Minority Leader Nathan Libby were both re-elected. Senator Jackson is expected to emerge as President of the Senate, and Senator Libby is expected to run for majority leader. The First Regular Session of the 129th Legislature will convene on December 5, 2018. The members will be sworn in and, thereafter, each chamber will elect its presiding officer. On that same day, the state’s constitutional officers, including Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Treasurer, will be elected by a joint convention of the House and Senate.