The two battleground House races with electoral votes at stake

In addition to electing their next representative on Nov. 3, two battleground U.S. House districts will also decide which presidential candidate gets one of their state’s Electoral College votes.

While 48 states give all their electoral votes to the statewide winner of the presidential contest, Maine and Nebraska distribute some of their electoral votes to the winners of each congressional district. Each state awards two of its electoral votes to the statewide presidential election winner. Maine distributes its two remaining electoral votes to the winner(s) of its two congressional districts. And Nebraska distributes its three remaining electoral votes to the winner(s) of its three congressional districts.

Maine’s 2nd and Nebraska’s 2nd are two of the 41 battleground U.S. House races Ballotpedia is following.

Maine’s 2nd

Incumbent Jared Golden (D), Dale Crafts (R), and write-in candidates Daniel Fowler (D) and Timothy Hernandez (D) are running. 

Golden was first elected in 2018. He defeated incumbent Bruce Poliquin (R) 50.6% to 49.4%. That was the first general election in Maine for which ranked-choice voting was law. It was also the first congressional election in U.S. history to use ranked-choice voting to decide the winner.

The 2nd District is one of 30 Democratic-held U.S. House districts that Donald Trump (R) won in the 2016 presidential election. 

• Trump defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 51% to 41% in the 2nd District. Poliquin won the House race 55% to 45% that year.

• Barack Obama (D) won the district in the 2012 and 2008 presidential elections with 53% and 55%, respectively. Mike Michaud (D) won the House elections those years.

Three independent election forecasters rate the 2020 House race Likely or Solid Democratic.

Nebraska’s 2nd

Incumbent Don Bacon (R), Kara Eastman (D), and Tyler Schaeffer (L) are running. The race is one of 56 U.S. House rematches from 2018. In 2018, Bacon defeated Eastman 51% to 49%. Bacon defeated incumbent Brad Ashford (D) in 2016, 49% to 48%.

Presidential election results in recent cycles were as follows:

• Trump defeated Clinton 48% to 46% in the 2nd District in 2016.

• In 2012, Mitt Romney (R) defeated Obama 53% to 46% in this district. In 2008, Obama defeated John McCain (R) 50% to 49%. Lee Terry (R) won the House elections both years.

Three election forecasters rate the 2020 House race a Toss-up.

All 435 seats in the House are up for election. Democrats currently have a 232 to 198 majority over Republicans in the chamber.

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