A three-candidate rematch in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent Rep. Jared Golden (D), former Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R), and Tiffany Bond (I) are running in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District on Nov. 8, 2022.

Golden defeated Poliquin, then the incumbent, along with Bond and Will Hoar (I) in 2018. That was the first congressional race ever decided by ranked-choice voting. Poliquin received a plurality of the vote—46.3% to Golden’s 45.6%—on the first count. Bond received 5.7% and Hoar, 2.4%. After ranked-choice tabulations, Golden defeated Poliquin 50.6% to 49.4%. Before Poliquin, no incumbent had lost the district since 1916, Roll Call reported.

Ranked-choice voting will also be used in the 2022 election.

Golden served in the Marines and the Maine House of Representatives before his election to the U.S. House. Golden said his record, which includes being the only House Democrat to vote against the Build Back Better Act in 2021, shows he’s a “fierce, independent voice” for the district. Golden also highlights his support for the 2021 infrastructure bill and increasing oil and gas production, federal funds he helped secure for loggers and the lobster industry, and his endorsement from the state Fraternal Order of Police.

Before serving in the House, Poliquin was an investment manager and served as state treasurer after the Maine Legislature selected him on the recommendation of former Gov. Paul LePage (R). Poliquin emphasizes his business background and has criticized Democrats for inflation, high gas prices, and what he called an open border. Poliquin said he would work to control spending, reopen oil and natural gas supplies, and “secure our border to make sure we take care of America first.”

Bond is a family law attorney who says she “isn’t distracted by the constant fundraising and partisan noise.” Bond says she agrees with Republicans on issues such as financial responsibility and smaller government and with Democrats on issues such as privacy and healthcare accessibility. Bond is asking supporters to donate to causes or spend at local businesses while leaving a note about her campaign instead of donating to her campaign.

The Associated Press‘ Patrick Whittle said that Poliquin’s focus on issues like immigration and gun rights in 2022 mark “a shift from his earlier campaigns, which focused more closely on controlling taxes and protecting rural jobs.” Whittle said Golden “has long positioned himself as a moderate who supports the 2nd Amendment and works to safeguard industries such as commercial fishing and papermaking” and was taking a similar approach in 2022.

The 2nd District is one of 13 U.S. House districts Democrats are defending that Donald Trump (R) won in the 2020 presidential election. According to Daily Kos data, Trump would have defeated Joe Biden (D) in the 2nd District as it was redrawn after the 2020 census 51.6%-45.5%. Under the previous congressional map, Trump defeated Biden 52.3%-44.8% in the 2nd District.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House in the 118th Congress. All 435 House districts are up for election. As of Sept. 30, 2022, Democrats held a 220-212 advantage in the chamber with three vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of six districts to win a majority.

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