Trump’s Appeal To Rural Voters May Win Him An Electoral Vote In Maine

From FiveThirtyEight:

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Interstate 95, the Eastern Seaboard’s major thoroughfare, exhausts itself before it can carry a person to Presque Isle. This far north, cell phone service can bounce off Canadian towers, and instead of McDonald’s ubiquitous Golden Arches, drivers pull off to eat at motor inns, few and far between. With 9,000 residents, Presque Isle is a major population center in this northernmost region of Maine, part of the 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses roughly 80 percent of the state. It is here, amidst vast expanses of silvery-green broccoli fields, roadside stands hawking fresh-from-the-earth potatoes and former pulp and paper mill towns, that Donald Trump has carved out a new, albeit petite, electoral battleground. He has a shot at winning one of Maine’s electoral votes, something a Republican hasn’t done since 1992. (The state awards its four electoral votes not in winner-take-all fashion, but with a hybrid system that allots two of its votes by congressional district.)

Trump’s strength in the area is a stark example of shifting political winds, a testament to how well the Manhattan businessman’s message plays in rural America and depleted centers of manufacturing, places such as Lewiston and Auburn, further south in the 2nd. National polling has suggested there is no connection between income and support for Trump, but when respondents are asked whether they are struggling to maintain their standard of living, those who said “yes” were more likely to favor Trump; a study out this summer suggested that this might have something to do with parents in economically depressed areas worrying for their children’s future. Trump is outperforming previous Republican candidates not insignificantly in the area: Mitt Romney lost by 6 percentage points more in the …

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