« Strategy Notes:
John Belisarius

How much damage did the Swift Boat attacks really do - and what can Dems learn from them? | Main | Fox Poll Shows Kerry Lead in Battleground States »

Dead Heat in Maine

A September 9th Zogby International Poll of Maine LV's for the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram has Kerry tied with Bush at 43 percent, with 3 percent for Nader and 10 percent undecided.


Maine was actually pretty close (Gore by 5) in the 2000 election, the same margin by which he won Michigan and Pennsylvania. Perhaps because Kerry is from New England, people expect Maine to be a slam-dunk for him, but it really should be more in the "lean Kerry" category than "safe Kerry."

Having said that, Bush's 43% for an incumbent, at a highly opportune time for him (shortly after the RNC convention), suggests that Kerry should ultimately prevail in Maine.

2000 results:


The Zogby poll is undeniably bad news for Kerry-Edwards.

Maine should be a safe blue state, not in play 45 days out from Election Day.

If Kerry-Edwards has to work to lock-down Maine, hard to see KE '04 winning.

Ryan -- It's true that Kerry shouldn't have to work on Maine, but at the same time, who would have thought Bush wouldn't have locked down Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Arkansas?

Ryan, try not to post unless you have something to say.
As Alan R. correctly observes, Maine went for Gore by only 5 points, with Bush getting 44.6% of the 3-way vote, It's not surprising that he's at 43% now.

Pardon my ignorance regarding Maine, but aren't we basically talking about one or two electoral votes here? According to www.electoral-vote.com, "Maine is one of the two states that does not use a winner-take-all system for allocating its votes in the electoral college (Nebraska is the other one). The winner of each of the two congressional districts gets one, and the statewide winner gets the other two."

Personally, I think the Colorado proposition which would do the same thing, and take effect immediately, might be a bigger threat to JFK '04 than Maine.

Yeah, ME is not a liberal state. It is very libertarian. Hell, Ross Perot almost won it in 1992. So, this is no surprise for this Dem.

It's one poll, taken not too long after the GOP convention. It doesn't mean we have to "fight for Maine".

Maine was always "in play" to the limited extent that, because of the electoral vote allocation, there is the possibility that Bush could get one electoral vote corresponding to the Second (more rural) district. The First District, which includes Portland, is a solid Democrat District, which should give Kerry a wide enough margin to carry the state overall.

Considering the high number of French Canadians in upper Maine, it's hard to see how an administration with such utter francophobia could have much support in this neck of America.


Nom de plume of John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in their excellent 87 essays, published in the colonies as support and explanation for the newly created Constitution of 1787.

That type of thoughtful written argument by politicos in power is seldom if ever seen these days.

Every time I hear some Republican start talking about what the founding fathers wanted, I always ask if they have read the Federalist Papers. Anyone who is serious about original intent must read and assimilate them.

Apparently the mere mention of ancient text killed the thread.

Back on topic:

Maine has 4 electoral votes and they split.

Kerry will outpoll Bush, there, however.

Was this expected to be a battleground state?

I think Maine was expected to lean Kerry's way, but not overwhelmingly. A Bush victory there is possible, but I don't think very likely. My guess (and like all my predictions is only a guess) is that Kerry will win statewide but Bush might get an extra electoral vote.

I think many of you are overreacting to this.
Generally, the poll has a small sample and probably
isn't reliable. But if we take it at face value,
it gives roughly the result we should expect.
Maine is a state that is a few percent better for
Kerry than the national average, so he will win Maine
by a few percent if the national result is very close (and
by more if he has an edge nationally); with
current polls showing that Kerry is a few percent behind nationally, it is not surprising that Maine would be close.