UPDATE 10:26 pm: A disappointing night for Republicans across the state of Maine. State Senate and House races will be some of the last ones called this evening, and those races will determine the next two years of Maine politics. Mills enters a second term with a commanding victory of LePage, but if Republicans came manage to win a majority in the House, Mills could face for the first time a legislature that isn’t eager to do her bidding. A Republican House could also upend the elections for constitutional officers.
UPDATE 10:20 pm: Gov. Janet Mills will win a second term in office. Poliquin does not appear to have the votes needed to push him over the threshold of 50 percent to avoid a RCV runoff.
UPDATE 10:11 pm: Former Rep. Bruce Poliquin is struggling to get over the 50 percent mark he will need to win the election under Maine’s Ranked Choice voting rules. He’s beating Jared Golden outright, but with Tiffany Bond siphoning off 6-7 percent of the vote, it still looks like a runoff election is likely. If that’s the case, Democrats investment in securing RCV via ballot initiative will once again pay off.
UPDATE 9:47 pm: It’s looking like the red wave sweeping Republicans into office across the country has failed to materialize here in Maine. LePage is significantly underperforming in traditional Republican strongholds, while Mills is overperforming in liberal bastions. On the state legislative side, it looks like Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) will hold on to the Senate District 1 seat after the most expensive state senate race in Maine history. Eyes turn now to the State House to see whether Republicans can win a majority against this backdrop.
UPDATE 9:25 pm: The gubernatorial race is going to be tight. LePage’s turnout so far is tracking below his 2014 levels but slightly ahead of Shawn Moody’s turnout in 2018. Gov. Mills is showing strong turnout in rural towns that nonetheless typically vote Democrat. In CD2, independent candidate Tiffany Bond’s share of the vote looks likely to force Bruce Poliquin and Jared Golden into a Ranked Choice runoff.
It’s Election Night. This thread will be the single destination for The Maine Wire’s coverage of the Maine gubernatorial race, the state legislative race, the congressional races, and national intrigue of interest. Polls close statewide at 8PM. After that, we’ll begin updating projections and race calls here. In the mean time, we can confirm what every other media outlet always reports about Maine elections before there’s any actual news: long lines, big turnout, the candidates voted, and the weather was nice.
At 8PM, we’ll begin posting results and projections based on Maine Policy Institute CEO and WGAN Morning News host Matt Gagnon’s proprietary election forecasting model. Based on his model, we should know very early on how races are trending for the governor’s office, Maine’s congressional seats, and the State Legislature. If you’ve want to submit a report from your own voting experience, drop me a note.