STATEWIDE – A historic year for politics in The State of Maine as presidential candidates flocked to The Pine Tree State to make their case for president of the United States.
And in the end the state’s electoral college split its vote for the first time ever.
The 2016 presidential race brought Maine and a lone electoral vote into the spotlight. But how did we get there?
We started the year in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary. That’s where then presidential candidate Jeb Bush had strong words about the future president elect. Bush said “I’m the only guy standing up to the guy. He’s not a conservative. He’s not a serious candidate. He’s a great entertainer.”
Donald Trump went on to win the primary his first political win. Trump stated “New Hampshire thank you.”
But trump did face competition in later primaries and caucuses.
Fast forward to March 5th when Maine Republicans caucused for Ted Cruz. Penobscot County Republican Chair Lee Jackson said “It’s really the will of the people and the will of the voters and if you want to have a say on who the republican nominee is it’s important to caucus.”
The next day, democrats in Maine caucused for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
But as the year continued, Trump began to set his eyes on Maine. In June, the now presumptive republican nominee, traveled to Bangor in an effort to win the state’s second district and Bernie Sanders supporters. “There is one thing that Bernie Sanders and I are in complete accord with and that’s trade.” stated Trump.
By the middle of July Senator Angus King joined Congresswoman Chellie Pingree in endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Congressman Bruce Poliquin would dodge questions about who he would be voting for, but by august we would learn Senator Susan Collins would join republicans that were not voting for trump. Senator Collins said “I worry that he lashes out at foes and friends alike without stepping back and finding out what all the facts are.”
In the fall Maine was graced by appearances from the children of both presidential nominees. Eric trump and his wife Lara meeting with those who wanted to “Make America Great Again.” The younger Trump stated “Healthcare costs have skyrocketed. I mean, they’ve just gone crazy under Obamacare.”
While Chelsea Clinton spoke to those hoping to be “Stronger Together.” She said “And I’m really proud that she does the details, even though her opponent often criticizes her for being too prepared.”
Ultimately Clinton would win the state, but for the first time in Maine history, its four electoral votes would split.
Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th, in part thanks to that one electoral vote.