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Maine’s 2nd District Needs To Be Watched Come Election Night

September 21, 2016

The reason the 2nd congressional district in Maine matters to those watching the dynamics of this election play out is that a number of white middle class voters are more sour on just about everything these days.  They do not like the demographic swings in this nation, feel pressured by social norms changing, seem to have a harder time understanding how the political process operates (which I believe is from civics not begin taught correctly) and by economic choices which proved to not be in their self interest.

As a consequence Donald Trump has been playing and manipulating the angry white male voter in this nation like a Stradivarius.   One of the early tests come election night to see how this demographic is breaking between the parties will take place in Maine.  That state is one of just two that split its electoral votes by congressional district, and the Trump campaign believes that the rural, blue-collar 2nd District is the type of place they might do well.

Previous GOP nominees have failed to pick it off from the rest of the state, and even some steadfast Republicans now predict Trump’s attempt will also fail.   But with such a bizarre and dangerous Republican nominee this cycle it behooves us to pay this area some heed.   (For record my James comes from Corinth, Maine–which is in this district–but does not come a family of angry people.)

It is easy to see how this district will be a bellwether for how Republicans fare in Rust Belt states, where disaffected Democrats could be up for grabs.  Why this district resonates so with political watchers nationwide is how populism here has allowed Governor LePage, who comes from Lewiston, to play to the xenophobia of the area.  The district is 95 percent white. But with the influx of immigrants, mostly from Africa, the pot has been stirred in places like Lewiston, where Somali businesses now dominate the downtown business district.

That last part is to most people a sign of the true beauty of this nation.  That people from all places around the globe can find new starts in America and make a path forward is something to applaud.  But for the angry white male there is nothing but envy and anger that someone with a skin color different from his own can make it when his own efforts have failed.

I get the fact that Trump plays to the indignity politics that does have a lot of support this year.  But what these angry voters do not understand is that Trump is playing this whole game to benefit one person–himself.  This is the biggest ego party he has thrown and the angry white voters in places like Maine’s 2nd CD are nothing more than court jesters to his whims.

My predictions are still many weeks away but I do not see Maine splitting electoral votes this year.

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