Final Election Results and Post-Election Analysis From Maine: Same-Sex Marriage Approved; Angus King, Dems Win Big
Analysis of election results in Maine:
Barack Obama recieved all four of the State's Electoral Votes; Question #1 passed, legalizing same-sex marriage in a state for the first time via popular vote; Angus King won the US Senate race replacing Sen. Olympia Snowe; Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Mike Michaud both retained their seats in the US House; Bond questions #2 - #5 passed except for the Higher Education bond; and Maine Dems took control of the State House and Senate.
Final Election Results (99% of precincts reporting 571 of 578 via Bangor Daily News)
1) Angus King Wins US Senate Race:
Well, we could have guessed this from the start, right?
Former Governor of Maine Angus King won a bid to the US Senate last night. He will represent Maine as an Independent after defeating Republican and Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers, and Democrat nominee Cynthia Dill.
(With 92% precincts reporting, via the Bangor Daily News)
This shouldn't be surprising to anyone, as King's competition was a complete joke. Maine Republicans selected a candidate who had a dismal history of losing three Congressional races already, while Maine Democrats should have looked at someone who had some more qualifications. Even so, this campaign recieved quite a bit of outside money, primarly in an effor to attack on King, but this obviously wasn't effective.
(Composition of the US Senate via CNN Politics)
What's important to look at is how King will uphold Sen. Olympia Snowe's populist, trustworthy, and espeically dynamic position as a representative of the Maine in the US Senate. As I said last night, King's power in the Senate will rely on it's final compostion, and it's looking more and more like a decisive majority by the Democrats will diminsh King's ability to make that much of a difference in the Senate, especially if he decides to side with the Democrats.
King will should be announcing his caucus decision sometime next week.
With that being said, King's independent stance and his commitment to ending gridlock in Congress is something unique he brings to the table. If King can gain support from fellow US Senators, he may be able to act as the bridge between majority Democrats and the minority Republians in the Senate. My prediction is that he won't make much of a difference in his first term, especially if the trend in polarization continues to grow.
Remember that it took many years for Snowe to gain prominence in the US Senate, an institution of elite personalities. We can't assume King will gain immediate respect as a moderate, especially assuming the current political environment we're in progresses.
Even if King's precense in the Senate never equates to Snowe's, King definitely represents the majority of Mainers and that's always a good thing.
2) Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Legal in Maine:
There were lots of tears shed by homosexual couples across the State last night with the realization that they could get married in less than two weeks.
Maine became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marraige by popular vote after losing a very close repeal campaign three years ago. The current wave of marriage equality reform across the country provided the opportunity to attempt round two, and supporters weren't going to lose this time.
Former Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a bill in 2009 that would have allowed same-sex marriages in Maine, but this was petitioned to a people’s veto. The law was put on hold, and it was eventually rejected by a vote of 53% to 47%. This year, the people's veto passsed.
(With 92% of precincts reporting, via the Bangor Daily News)
This was a very close race, thus proving many Mainers are not entirely convinced that it was the right decision. However, the difference between poll numbers from 2009 and poll numbers from last night don't lie. Mainers are seemingly growing more and more content with homosexuals having the right to marry. Last night, the majority deemed this acceptance law.
It's not that Mainers are homophobics, although a percentage most likely are. Many Mainers are already comfortable with the LGBT community, and I don't see this as being the prominent issue. Many traditionalists in Maine regard the term "marriage" as a religious affiliation and claim homosexuals have no right to aquire a marriage "through God" if a denomination's beliefs accept the this as "sin".
What many voters weren't aware of was that this legislation was purposefully respectful of religious freedom, stating, that it "protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs." Still, many believe that a transition to civil unions as the norm for all traditional "marriages" is the only way to ensure that religion isn't associated with a "sinful" act.
So how did "Yes On 1" win? This time around, "Mainers United for Marriage" and "Equality Maine" took a more interpersonal approach to campaigning for legalization of same-sex marraige in the state, and although it took a lot of work, they succeeded in their mission.
Campaigns focused on trying to get voters to answer the question: "Why am I against gay marriage?" These syllogistic and comparative reasoning tactics gave voters enough reason to believe same-sex marriage wouldn't really effect them as much as they had previously believed it would.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: this was a no-brainer.
3) Barack Obama Defeats Mitt Romney, Wins 2012 Presidential Election
Incumbents President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will remain at the White House and Number One Observatory Circle, respectively.
As for Gov. Mitt Romney, his concession speech early this morning sounded rather dismal. He was upset, and I would be too after vying for a position for 15 years and come so close...only to lose.
(Romney's Concession Speech, via ABC News)
Obama took the election by storm in Maine, winning all four electoral votes. There was some speculation that the typically conservative 2nd Congressional District popular vote might go "red" which would have given Romney one of Maine's four electoral votes. In the end, all four electoral votes went to Obama.
Obama seemed hopeful and happy that America still trusted his judgement. We'll see if he can truly make Americans proud by giving the people a better four years rather than the typical "lame duck" session.
It's essential that he bridges the gap between our divided government so that they can, in turn, bridge the gaping gap between them and the people of America.
(Obama's Victory Speech, via The Wall Street Journal)
Below is an extensive live blog of Maine's Election Results from Tuedsay, Nov. 6, 2012. Post-election analysis will be following shortly.
“As Maine goes, so goes the nation"--or at least that used to be the case. Not so much anymore.
Maine had the reputation of being a bellwether state for presidential elections up until the 1930s. The state’s September election of a governor predicted the party outcome of the November presidential election from 1832 through 1844; in 1852; from 1860 through 1876; in 1888; from 1896 through 1908; and from 1920 through 1932.
After Maine changed its gubernatorial election date to coincide with it’s presidential election in November, this bellwether reputation was lost, but Maine’s political reputation is still in tact. The northeast point of the country still maintains the forefront of national politics with its strong, moderate population, in addition to supplying some of the country’s greatest politicians to Washington.
The race for Maine’s two members of the U.S. House of Representatives looks to be already decided.
Rep. Chellie Pingree [D-ME1] will most likely remain Maine’s 1st Congressional District Representative with a recent Critical Insights poll having Pingree up 19 points over Republican nominee and State Senator, Jon Courtney (56% to 37%). This should be Pingree's third term in Congress.
Rep. Mike Michaud [D-ME2] also looks to retain his incumbency as Maine's 2nd Congressional District Representative (the most rural congressional district in the U.S.). A recent Critical Insights poll shows the former mill worker up 19 points over Republican nominee and current President of the Maine Senate, Kevin Raye (55% - 36%). If elected, this could be Michaud's sixth term in Congress in addition to a potential ranking membership in the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. Raye, however, did nab a pretty good endorsement.
The State of Maine has elected a plethora of well-known U.S. Senators over its history, including Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, Wallace White, Edmund Muskie, Margaret Chase Smith, George Mitchell, and Secretary of Defense William Cohen. There's no doubt that Olympia Snowe should also be included in this stoic list after she decided to call it quits in February. Her successor will most likely be former Maine governor, Angus King.
King, and independent, faces Maine State Senator Cynthia Dill on the Democrat side and Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers on the Republican. King holds a comfortable lead in a recent Critical Insights poll which shows he has a 13 point lead over Summers and a 37 point lead over Dill (47%, 34%, 10%).
King's leverage in the U.S. Senate as a federally inexperienced independent depends on the Senate's composition after Election Day. If the Senate ends up close to a 50/50 split, King could very well shift the Senate Democratic while giving him lots of power. Most likely though, Democrats will win a decisive majority and he will find himself with less leverage than he hoped.
Maine is considered a safe win for Democratic President Barack Obama, but supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney could potentially take one of the state's four electoral votes away from Obama if the heavily Republican populated 2nd Congressional District sees enough voter turnout. Maine law gives the winner of the statewide vote two of the state's four electoral votes, and one goes to the winner of each congressional district.
A recent Critical Insights poll shows Obama up 7 points over Romney statewide (49% to 42%), with 6% of voters "undecided". Obama has been losing ground statewide, dropping 9 points in the polls since mid-September. Romney is winning among men voters for the first time, showing strong support among women is keeping Obama in the lead.
And what about that 2nd Congressional District? Obama still holds a solid 7-point lead.
Same-Sex Marriage Referendum
After losing a very close repeal campaign three years ago, the current wave of marriage equality reform across the country provide the opportunity to attempt round two. Same-sex marriage is currently unrecognized in Maine. The state's domestic partnership law still remains in effect, stating that the only legitimate marriage is one between a man and a woman.
Former Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a bill in 2009 that would have allowed same-sex marriages in Maine, but this was petitioned to a people’s veto. The law was put on hold, and it was eventually rejected by a vote of 53% to 47%.
The original question submitted for the citizen initiative to support same-sex marriage on the November 2012 ballot read, “Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?”
Secretary of State and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Charlie Summers changed the ballot question to read: “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”
A recent Critical Insights poll shows that the question is shaping up for a close finish. "Yes On 1" still holds a 13-point lead over opponents (52% to 42%), with 3% "undecided". However, this support has dropped 21 points since September.
A 13-point lead sounds safe, but undecided and less committed supporters become "No On 1" voters in the final weeks and days of the campaign. About 4% of Maine voters also support same-sex marriage as being politically correct, but then vote against it in the privacy of the voting booth.
PolicyMic will be covering the election live from Maine. Bookmark and refresh this page throughout the day for all the latest developments.
10:27am: An example of a Maine Republican who accepts defeat, but is unwilling to give up on his State.
10:20am: It's going to take compromise from both sides and some evaporation of our polarized, entitled beliefs. As Americans, we need to move together, not apart.
10:18am: It's important to remember that regardless of the results, we need to make sure that those we elected make a valiant effort to work together. Speaker Boehner commented on today's US House composition as a mandate for bipartisanship. That's coming from a man who tried everything in his power to block everything the Obama administration proposed.
10:17am: Lots of very, very deeply disappointed Mainers across the state today...just get on Facebook and you can see what I'm talking about.
12:23am: And the final post tonight. Obama defeats Gov. Mitt Romney to retain the title of 44th President of the United States. BAM.
As Maine Goes....
12:21am: Donald Trump...take it easy
12:20am: "Yes On 1" campaign says "Love Wins" tonight. I would have to agree.
12:16am: Looking more and more like Dems will take both State House and Senate.
12:12am: My twin brother Liam just cooked me dinner. What a good guy. Live blogging makes you forget about the essentials.
12:11am: A dream come true for so many Mainers across the state.
12:09am: Education bond is the only bond that looks like it's not going to pass. Ironically, it would directly benefit where I go to school. Oh well.
12:06am: Also still unsure about Education bond (via WGME-TV).
12:05am: Still unsure about who will control Maine State and Senate. Appears Maine Senate will be controlled by Dems, but House is still up in the air
12:04am: Maryland likely to follow Maine's lead.
12:02am: Maine passes referendum after second attempt.
12:01am: Raye recedes in CD2 race.
11:59pm: Tears, joy, positivity, and victory.
11:57pm: Education bond still too close to call. All others pass.
11:55pm: Absolutley massive day for Democrats in Maine. AP projects Maine will become the first state in the country to pass Same-Sex Marriage by popular vote!
11:53pm: Same-Sex Marriage passes!
11:51pm: Twitter names Election Day 2012, the most tweeted political event in history with 20M tweets. This was BEFORE Obama was confirmed 44th POTUS.
11:50pm: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
11:48pm: 46% in.
11:45pm: Summers finally concedes.
11:44pm: Maryland, Minnestoa, and Washington State Same-Sex Marriage Races (via Huff Post).
11:41pm: Democrats winning HUGE tonight in Maine. Pingree, Michaud, State House, State Senate, and potentially Angus King in the US Senate.
11:40pm: 37% of precincts reporting and it's still too close to call (via WGME-TV).
11:36pm: The typically right leaning moderate State of Maine was all for Obama this year (via WGME-TV).
11:33pm: Democrats likely to take back State Senate and State House in Maine.
11:31pm: Angus King's spread over Summers just about equal to projections (via WGME-TV).
11:26pm: Congrats to Mike Michaud for taking Maine's 2nd Congressional District for his 6th term in Congress.
11:23pm: 4-point spread but rumors are cylcing claiming that the referendum will pass.
11:19pm: Question 1 still teetering between Yes and No (via WGME-TV).
11:18pm: You tell 'em Pat.
11:16pm: Obama wins Ohio AND the election.
11:14pm: Conservation bond question looks like it will pass with 30% of presincts reporting (via WGME-TV).
11:13pm: Education bond question still close (via WGME-TV).
11:11pm: If "Yes On 1" campaign wins, this will be the first legalization of same-sex marriage in the country by popular vote (not by legislation or by the courts).
11:09pm: King uses a play on words with Maine's motto "Dirigo" (I lead). Guy knows his Latin (1st person, plural, present indicative).
11:07pm: "Yes On 1" takes more of a lead (via WGME-TV).
11:05pm: Bangor Daily News still reporting a close race with 29% precincts reporting.
10:56pm: Bangor Daily News reports slight "Yes On 1" lead with 27% of precincts in.
10:52pm: Not very funny...but pretty funny.
10:51pm: 26% precincts in....and it gets closer.
10:50pm: 25% in and down to a 6 point spread.
10:49pm: Question 1 up by 8 points with 22% of precincts reporting (via WGME-TV).
10:47pm: King still mingling with reporters.
10:43pm: With all other big races presumably decided. Question 1 is still close with 19% precincts reporting (via WGME-TV).
10:41pm: AP says Michaud wins CD2
10:28pm: Maine's all "four" Obama.
10:26pm: Question 1 up 8 points with 14% precincts reporting (via WGME-TV).
10:24pm: Interesting, congrats.
10:15pm: One of the most expensive State races. Senator Nichi Farnham projected to lose to Gratwick.
10:14pm: Bangor shows strong support of "Yes On 1".
10:13pm: Water bond up by 25 points (via WGME-TV).
10:12pm: Transporation bond up by 64 points (via WGME-TV).
10:11pm: Conservation bond up by 22 points (via WGME-TV).
10:10pm: Education bond close as well (via WGME-TV).
10:08pm: Question 1 even closer with 11% of precincts in (via WGME-TV).
10:05pm: CD2 House race still hasn't been called by the AP yet. Michaud likely to win (via WGME-TV).
10:03pm: Question 1 is too close. AP pulls projection (via WGME-TV).
10:02pm: Dems taking several seats in the US Senate, including Warren in MA. This could lead to a possibly ineffective independent King. Gridlock has to be his theme.
10:00pm: 2 hours into reporting. Looks like it could be a quick night in Maine.
9:58pm: Brunswick up 7 points from 2009 as well.
9:57pm: Chellie in Portland #victoryparty
9:54pm: AP projects Pingree takes back CD1 seat.
9:48pm: "Yes On 1" still up even though AP has projected failure (WGME-TV).
9:47pm: Maine's new senator, Angus King.
9:45pm: With 6% precincts reporting, Michaud looks like he will have his fifth term in the US House (WGME-TV)
9:43pm: Supporter still have hope.
9:40pm: Pingree leads by 2/3 (via WGME-TV).
9:38pm: Yah, you should probably concede Charlie.
9:36pm: "Yes On 1"leading with 5% of precincts reporting.
9:34pm: Some interesting things happening in Bangor:
9:32pm: Obama's lead dwindling with 6% of precincts reporting (WGME-TV).
9:29pm: 5% of precincts reporting, Question 1 on Same-Sex Marriage getting closer (via WGME-TV).
9:28pm: 3% of precincts reporting, Michaud likely to take CD2 (via WGME-TV).
9:25pm: 3% of precincts reporting, Pingree up big in CD1 (via WGME-TV).
9:25pm: 3% of precincts reporting (via WGME-TV).
9:23pm: 3% of precincts reporting (via WGME-TV).
9:21pm: Good point. AP projections have been wrong before.
9:19pm: Charlie Summers yet to concede although he is still 19 points from King with 1% precincts reporting.
9:17pm: The GOP needs to win four seats and maintain what they have now in order to take control of the Senate. Three GOP wins would make Senator elect Angus King a pivotal Member.
9:14pm: King claims partisan gridlock to be his reason for running, Mainers are fed up with it.
9:07pm: Congrats to Gorham, Maine's new State Rep: Andrew McLean!
9:04pm: Wow, could this mean a cacus with the Democrats?
9:01pm: Angus will join Susan Collins in the US Senate. Introducting, Maine's new Senator:
8:59pm: 1% of precincts reporting, Water Bond likely to pass.
8:56pm: 1% of precincts reporting, Transporation Bond likely to pass.
8:55pm: 1% of precincts reporting, Conservation Bond likely to pass.
8:53pm: 1% of precincts reporting, Education Bond not likely to pass.
8:51pm: 1% of precincts reporting, "No On 1" likely to prevail (via WMGE-TV).
8:50pm: AP PROJECTS REJECTION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE REFERENDUM.
8:49pm: 1% of precincts reporting, Michaud up 30 points (via WMGE-TV).
8:43pm: 1% of precincts reporting, Obama up 20 points (via WGME-TV).
8:42pm: 1% of precincts reporting, King up 22 points (via WGME-TV).
8:40pm: King looks like Sen. Olympia Snowe's replacement via exit polls. Will he caucus with the Democrats?
8:38pm: It's looking more like CD2 will not go red. Therefore, 4 electoral votes will go to Obama. No surprise here.
8:34pm: Live from Walter S. Schoeberger National Affairs Lounge at The University of Maine.
8:32pm: Angus King projected by AP to win Maine Senate race via exit polls.
8:31pm: Obama projected by AP to win Maine via exit polls.
8:21pm: We are live. Sorry people, busy day.
12:00pm: UMaine voters take note!