Rep. Jared Golden ran against Republican Bruce Poliquin in Maine's 2nd Congressional District for the second time.
The 2nd District encompasses nearly 80% of the state, including Augusta, the state capital.
Abortion was a hot-button topic in the race.
Rep. Jared Golden, a Democratic incumbent, defeated Republican Bruce Poliquin in Maine's 2nd Congressional District. Golden unseated Poliquin in 2018.
Polls closed in the state at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Maine's 2nd Congressional District candidates
Golden is the first member of Congress elected by ranked-choice voting. In 2016, Maine became the first state to enact ranked-choice voting for statewide elections for governor, state legislature, and Congress, and Golden's election was the first in the state, as well as the country, where ranked-choice voting was enacted in a congressional election.
Born and raised in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, the now-40-year-old congressman in 2018 also became the first candidate to unseat an incumbent from the district in more than a century.
Golden, a combat veteran who joined the US Marines in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, is a member of the House Committee on Armed Services and the Congressional Veterans Caucus. After serving combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he returned to the US and worked for Republican Sen. Susan Collins on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The millennial politician built a reputation of being the House Democrat who strays from party lines on key votes. In 2021, he was the only Democrat to vote against the Biden administration's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package and the only Democrat to vote against the Build Back Better Act. He bucked his party again in July when he voted against the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022.
Poliquin, 68, represented Maine's 2nd Congressional District before Golden unseated him in 2018. He became the first incumbent to lose a race to reelection in the district since 1916.
The former congressman, who previously served as state treasurer, opposed access to abortions and billed himself as "pro-life." In January 2015, he voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions. In the wake of the Supreme Court's 2022 decision that struck down Roe v. Wade, however, Democrats accused Poliquin of sidestepping questions about his plans for abortion policy, because of strong voter support for protecting abortion access.
Voting history for Maine's 2nd Congressional District
Maine's sprawling, rural 2nd Congressional District encompasses nearly 80% of the state's physical area, including Augusta, the state capital.
Donald Trump had a 7.5 percentage point margin of victory under the district's previous boundaries in 2020 before it was redrawn to move the capital to the 2nd Congressional District from the 1st in redistricting following the 2020 Census, making it slightly less conservative-leaning in the process.
The money race
According to OpenSecrets, Golden raised $5.5 million, spent $4.8 million, and had $858,322 of cash on hand, as of October 19. His opponent, Poliquin, raised $3.5 million, spent $2.4 million, and had $1.1 million of cash still left to spend, as of October 19.
Super PACs, national party committees, and other non-candidate groups together spent more than $21.3 million through early November to advocate for or against the two candidates.
What experts say
The race between Golden and Poliquin was rated as "tilt Democratic" by Inside Elections, a "toss-up" by The Cook Political Report, and a "toss-up" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
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