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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

In a First, Maine Electoral College Votes Will Be Split

(CN) — For the first time since adopting an alternative method of distributing its allotted electoral votes in 1972, Maine has split its four electoral votes among two candidates.

The state's northern, rural 2nd Congressional District went to Republican Donald Trump by a 51 percent to 41 percent margin, with about 90 percent of the vote counted. Buoyed by strong support in Portland, Democrat Hillary Clinton won statewide by a slim 3-point margin to secure the other three electoral votes.

While Clinton did not personally campaign in Maine, Trump visited the state five times, targeting a single electoral vote in a state that has voted democratic in every presidential election since helping to elect Clinton's husband in 1992.

Maine is one of only two states that allow for its electoral votes to be portioned in such a way, joined by Nebraska, which began the practice in 1992.

Barrack Obama won 2nd Congressional District in 2008 — with John McCain taking the state's other four votes — the sole election when the Cornhusker state split. Clinton lost by three points in the Omaha-based district this time around.

Mirroring Trump's Maine strategy in Nebraska, Clinton twice visited Omaha, once in the primaries and once in August. During that later visit she told crowds that "Warren and I will dance in the streets of Omaha" if she won there, referring to billionaire investor and Omaha-native Warren Buffett.

A vocal critic of president-elect Trump, Buffett sponsored an effort to drive voters to their polling sites, even escorting some voters himself aboard a trolley-style bus, an effort that fell just short in the face Trump's shocking upset victory.

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