Thursday, December 5, 2013
WASHINGTON – There’s obviously a lot to digest from last night’s elections. But here are a few mid-morning, post-election tidbits from races in Maine and around the country.
Results are still coming in, but Mainers appear to have backed President Obama by nearly the same margin as in 2008, when he beat Sen. John McCain by roughly 18 percent. Obama was sitting on a 16-point lead as of Wednesday morning. If those results hold out, the president will have beat even the most optimistic polls in Maine.
Democrats have retained narrow control of the Senate, although it’s still too early to say by how many seats. As of Wednesday morning, Democrats claimed 52 seats with the race in North Dakota still uncalled but leaning ever so slightly toward Democrats.
The national Senate results could decide how much influence Maine Sen.-elect Angus King, an independent, could have at least in terms of tipping the scales to one side or the other. Most observers believe King will caucus with the Democrats, but he’sGOP still not saying. King has reportedly already received a call from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
New England is once again barren land for Republicans when it comes to the House. Two Republican incumbents from New Hampshire – Frank Giunta and Charlie Bass – lost to their Democratic challengers. Democrats also won all of the other House races in the region, including Maine’s two seats.
With Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, the GOP still has a presence in New England’s Senate delegation. But it will be a smaller one due to Sen. Scott Brown’s loss in Massachusetts. Brown’s loss combined with Sen. Olympia Snowe’s retirement means that Collins may be even more sought-after, however, as one of the last moderate Republicans left.
New Hampshire, meanwhile, became the first state to have an all-woman delegation in Congress. Democrat Maggie Hassan also won the governor’s race in the Granite State on Tuesday, meaning the five highest seats in the state will be held by women next year.
Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or email@example.com
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