AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine GOP issued a press release Monday celebrating the news that Maine was more Republican than the national as a whole, according to a new report out over the weekend.
"We just received some great news over the weekend! Maine's Second Congressional District is now a Republican +2 District according to the Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index," said Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party. "A Partisan Voting Index score of R+2 means the district performed two points more Republican than the national average. This is a tectonic shift for Maine in the last few years."
NEWS CENTER checked the Cook Political Report's Website. Its "Partisan Voter Index" compares how our districts voted in the last two presidential elections as compared to the national average.
It does indeed show Maine as an R+2. We can verify this information is accurate. The data used does match data from the secretary of state's office.
Is this a tectonic shift? Certainly. If you go back to the index for the 2012 and 2008 elections, the 2nd District was a D+2. In the 2008 and 2004 elections, it was a D+3. That's a five-point swing in the last 12 years.
"Since 1988 the 2nd [District] has gone Democratic at least in the presidential elections, and so this is significant, " said Democratic political analyst John Richardson. "This report, I think, shows there's a trend and the trend is moving towards Republicans in the 2nd Congressional District."
"The 2nd Congressional District has been Republican for decades," said Republican political analyst Phil Harriman. "Rep. Mike Michaud campaigned as a moderate Democrat but governed perhaps a little more to the left. You talk about issues like gun rights, hunting, less government – I think the 2nd Congressional District has been solid in that mindset for decades."
More people are voting Republican in the 2nd District, so are there more Republicans? NEWS CENTER looked into the numbers of registered voters in the 2nd District from the last election cycle.
A total of 29.3 percent of voters are registered Democrats and 29.1 percent are registered Republicans, but the largest number by far are unenrolled voters at nearly 36.6 percent. Greens and Libertarians make up the other 5 percent. That's according to data provided by the Maine Secretary of State's office.
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