What Happened in the ME-02 Congressional Election? (2018)

Please note: The analysis below is based on an initial estimate of the 2018 electorate. Catalist released an updated analysis of the 2018 electorate in May 2019.


February 1, 2019

Author: Jonathan Robinson, Lead Research Scientist at Catalist.

  1. Improving over Hillary Clinton’s performance – but not quite recreating Barack Obama’s numbers among Democratic and Independent-leaning voters – while improving marginally among Republican-leaning groups.
  2. Success despite an uphill, characteristically-midterm-like environment within Maine, when electorates in other states clearly had a more Presidential bent.
  3. In geographic terms, Golden’s performance was characterized by relative uniform swing, doing better across rural, suburban, and urban communities throughout the district compared to 2016, though with a slightly stronger performance in the denser portions of the district as opposed to the rural areas.

When we look at the plots below we can see that trends in voter turnout related to your generational cohort show more predictable trends and patterns, but when we change at age at the time of the election as opposed to birth year, we can see the clear evidence that the electorate, in just four years, has indeed gotten older and will continue to do so for quite some time due to the big influence of the baby boomer generation.


We can see the partisan dynamics of the district at play in the map below as well. In what is a well-known fact to followers of Maine politics, the coastal portions of the district and areas surrounding the larger towns in the district are more reliably Democratic than the further inland and rural parts of the district. However, as we saw in the plot above, overperformance was relatively uniform (with, as always, a few small outliers).