Tags: Barack Obama | Donald Trump | 2016 | election | electoral

8 Maine 'Pivot' Counties Went Twice for Obama, Later for Trump

Image: 8 Maine 'Pivot' Counties Went Twice for Obama, Later for Trump

A painted U.S. flag is seen out side a home in Auburn, Maine earlier this year. One voter in Auburn who voted for Obama twice, then later for Trump,  reportedly said, "We have thousands and thousands of homeless people, we've got veterans out on the streets, and we're expected to bring in more refugees. We just need to stop." (David Goldman/AP)

By Scott Rasmussen
Monday, 17 Jul 2017 10:28 AM Current | Bio | Archive

During the 2016 presidential election, nearly half of all votes in Maine (44 percent) were cast in Pivot Counties. The state is home to eight of the nation's 206 Pivot Counties—counties that voted twice for Barack Obama before voting for Donald Trump. In Maine, Obama won the Pivot Counties by 11 percentage points in 2008 and by 9 points in 2012.

However, Trump carried these counties by 11 percentage points in 2016. Found in the northern part of the state, Maine's Pivot Counties enabled Trump to win the state’s 2nd Congressional District and pick up an Electoral College vote from the state. Prior to 2016, no Republican had won an Electoral College vote in Maine since 1988.

Maine Pivot Counties

2016

2012

2008

Republican

51.6%

44.0%

43.5%

Democrat

40.6%

53.0%

54.4%

Margin

R+11.0

D+9.0

D+10.9

In raw vote totals, Trump lost the state by fewer than 20,000 votes. Mitt Romney and John McCain lost the statewide total by more than 100,000 votes each. Because the Pivot Counties represent such a sizable share of Maine voters, they could play a significant role in the 2018 U.S. Senate election. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, is one of 19 Democratic senators running for re-election in a state with Pivot Counties. King is currently favored to win re-election, but analysts disagree on whether the seat is safe for Democrats or if it merely leans in that direction.

From now until Election 2018, Ballotpedia will regularly release new Pivot County data to explore what these counties can teach us about national trends and the midterm elections.

The Maine Pivot Counties are Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, Penobscot, Somerset, and Washington.

While casting 44 percent of the vote in Maine, the Pivot Counties accounted for 73 percent of the net Republican gains in the state. Twenty-five percent of the gains came from declining Democratic margins in solidly Democratic counties.

Maine

Net vote change from 2012 to 2016

% of net votes gained by GOP in 2016

% of total votes cast in 2016

Pivot

64,427

73.2%

44.0%

Solid GOP

1,927

2.2%

1.2%

Solid Dem

21,690

24.6%

54.7%

Total

88,044

100.0%

100.0%

In many states, including Iowa and Michigan, the Pivot Counties had an outsized impact on the results. In states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, increased margins in solidly Republican counties played a bigger role. In Wisconsin, the biggest impact came from counties that voted for Obama in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Trump in 2016.

The table below shows the Republican margins contributed by each type of county in the last three presidential elections.

Maine counties

2016

2012

2008

Pivot

36,275

-28,152

-35,868

Solid GOP

2,308

381

355

Solid Dem

-58,356

-80,046

-91,137

Total

-19,773

-107,817

-126,650

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day is published by Ballotpedia. Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology.

Scott Rasmussen is a Senior Fellow for the Study of Self-Governance at the King’s College in New York and an Editor-At-Large for Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics. His most recent book, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not," was published by the Sutherland Institute in May.To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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During the 2016 presidential election, nearly half of all votes in Maine were cast in Pivot Counties. The state is home to eight of the nation's 206 Pivot Counties, counties that voted twice for Barack Obama before voting for Donald Trump.
2016, election, electoral
550
2017-28-17
 

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