Maine split its electoral vote for the first time in state history, with Donald Trump’s strong showing in central and northern Maine allowing him to capture one of the state’s four votes in the Electoral College.

Republican Trump carried the 2nd Congressional District handily, beating Democrat Hillary Clinton by 51 percent to 41 percent, with 89 percent of the district’s precincts reporting Wednesday morning. Clinton carried the statewide vote, 48 to 45 percent, with 90 percent of precincts reporting. She also won the 1st District vote, 54 percent to 40 percent, with 93 percent of the district’s precincts reporting.

Maine allows for a split in its electoral vote, awarding one elector to the winner of each congressional district and two to the winner of the statewide vote. Only Nebraska divvies up its electoral votes in the same manner – all other states award electors on a winner-take-all basis.

It appeared for a while Tuesday evening that Maine’s four electoral votes might prove decisive in the presidential contest, but as of Wednesday morning, Trump had 276 electoral votes, six more than the number needed to claim a majority. His one elector from Maine simply adds to his narrow majority in the electoral vote.

The Maine contest seemed set in stone early, with towns and cities in the northern two-thirds of the state moving into Trump’s column as the first vote counts came in. Likewise, Clinton was handily winning in the southern 1st District from the outset of the vote counting and she maintained a lead in the statewide vote throughout the night and early morning, although her margin statewide narrowed as more votes from the central and northern part of the state came in.

This year’s election marks the first time that Maine will split its electoral votes since it adopted its system in 1972. In the past, the statewide winner has also won each of the congressional district.

Nebraska’s electoral vote has split once, with Barack Obama carrying a congressional district centered around Omaha in 2008, and his Republican rival, John McCain gaining the state’s other four votes. This year, all five Nebraska electors were won by Trump.

 

 


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