The Midterms - Maine and New Hampshire!
Let us swing back across the country to the Northeastern corner with Maine and New Hampshire! Two states with a very strong independent streak, where third parties are serious business and they are neither Blue nor Red (though Maine is sometimes thought of as fairly Blue these days).
Let's start with Maine, lot's happening there!
There is an open Governor's seat, as the comically (if it weren't so disturbing) awful Paul LePage is term-limited. Attorney General Janet Mills is the Democratic candidate, and she is Emily's List endorsed. This is going to be a tight race, and there are 2 independent candidates that might draw some votes, so we need to go all out to win this one!
In the Senate, Angus King, a Dem-caucusing independent, is looking solid for re-election.
And we finally have a truly competitive House District to talk about! ME2 is basically the whole state save for Portland and Augusta. We held this seat all through the 90s and 2000s, only to lose it in 2014, so we can definitely get it back! This race is rated a toss-up by Cook political reports. We have a great candidate in Jared Golden, a veteran, former Congressional aid, and State Rep.
At the state level, ALL 35 Senate seats are up. Right now, Republicans have a one-seat majority, so Dems need to flip a seat to take over control, and more would be nice. Races to watch:
SD1 (North Arastook County): Incumbent Dem Troy Dale Jackson narrowly won in 2016, despite his district going for Trump.
SD2 (South Arastook County): Same as SD1, our candidate is Michael Carpenter.
SD3 (Skowhegan): The Republican here narrowly won in 2016, this is an Obama/Trump district, and the seat is open! Our challenger is Jeffrey Johnson.
SD7 (Ellsworth): This is a Republican-held seat in a very Blue district, and its open! Louis Luchini is our candidate to flip it.
SD11 (Belfast): Another open Republican seat in a Blue district, Erin Herbig is our candidate and she has Emily's List's endorsement.
SD13 (Wiscasset): A potential pickup opportunity, this is a narrowly Blue district with a Republican incumbent. Laura Fortman is our candidate to flip and has Emily's List's endorsement.
SD14 (Manchester): The Dem incumbent, Shenna Bellows, is endangered here as this previously Blue district swung to Trump narrowly in 2016. She has the endorsement of both the PCCC and Emily's List.
SD16 (Benton): This is another potential pickup opportunity, with a Republican incumbent in an Obama/Trump district. Karen Kusiak is our candidate, with Emily's List's endorsement.
SD26 (Falmouth): Our Dem incumbent here, Bill Diamond, might be a little endangered since this district swung to Trump.
SD30 (Scarborough): A possible pickup opportunity, a Republican in a solid Blue district. Our challenger is Linda Sanborn, with Emily's List's endorsement.
SD34 (Wells): A chance to pick up a Republican open seat in a Blue district! Our candidate is Thomas Wright.
On to the Maine House, all seats are up! Democrats have a narrow majority, so we need to hold our seats, and maybe pickup a few more to solidify control. Races to watch:
Most endangered Dems
HD55 (Bowdoinham): Seth Berry
HD58 (Lewiston): James Handy
HD66 (Raymond): Jessica Fay, Emily's List endorsed
HD107 (Skowhegan): Betty Austin
HD115 (Rumford): John Madigan
HD121 (Hudson): an open seat, Terri Casavant is our nominee.
HD138 (Beals): Robert Alley
HD140 (Calais): Anne Perry
HD143 (Medway): Stephen Stanley
HD148 (Fort Fairfield): David McCrea
Most fippable Republicans
HD7 (Wells): an open seat, Daniel Hobbs is our nominee
HD9 (Kennebunkport): Diane Denk, Emily's List endorsed
HD28 (Scarborough): Christopher Caiazzo
HD29 (Scarborough): Shawn Babine
HD33 (South Portland): an open seat, Victoria Morales
HD46 (Durham): Braden Sharpe
HD53 (Dresden): Allison Hepler
HD86 (Augusta): Jennifer Day
HD89 (Boothbay Harbor): Holly Stover
HD113 (Farmington): H. Scott Landry Jr.
There are about 20 more races of interest there as well, a lot happening in Maine, so check out a full list!
Maine has quite an interesting ballot initiative in Question 1 - a proposed 3.8% tax on income over the Social Security limit (which is currently about $128,000) and investment income in order to pay for in-home care for seniors and the disabled. A very similar setup was enacted to pay for Obamacare. Predictably, Republican groups are against it as they are with basically any tax increase.
Now on the New Hampshire!
There is a Governor's race. Former State Senator Molly Kelly is running to unseat Chris Sununu. She has Emily's List's endorsement, but the race is rated Lean Republican by Cook so she has an uphill battle.
In the House, NH1 is one of the few seats we need to defend. The district covers Manchester, Portsmouth, and the SE eastern border with Maine, is R+2, and its open. Chris Pappas is our candidate to hold the seat. It looks like he's in good shape, but we can't take anything for granted this year!
At the state level, the whole State Senate is up, and its Republican controlled. Dems need to flip at least 3 seats. Races to watch:
SD1 (Northern 3rd of the state): Jeff Woodburn is an endangered Democratic incumbent in this Obama/Trump district.
SD2 (Haverhill): A potential pickup opportunity, our candidate is Bill Bolton in this Obama/Trump district.
SD7 (part of Belknap and Merrimack counties): Another Obama/Trump district, Mason Donovan is trying unseat the Republican incumbent.
SD8 (New London): Another Obama/Trump, Jenn Alford-Teaster is the Emily's List endorsed challenger
SD9 (parts of Hillsborough and Cheshire counties): an open Republican seat, Jeanne Dietsch is running, in this rate Romney/Clinton district!
SD12 (Rindge to Nashua): This district is narrowly red, and the incumbent barely won last time. Melanie Levesque could take it with good turnout! Emily's List endorsed.
SD16 (Manchester): Kevin Cavanaugh won this seat in a special election and is defending it, another Romney/Clinton district.
SD18 (Manchester): A Dem incumbent in an Obama/Trump district, Donna Soucey is Emily's List endorsed.
SD24 (Rockingham County): an almost perfectly split district, Tom Sherman is trying to win it back.
In the State House, all seats are up. There are 400 of them, so there is no reason you shouldn't be able to not only meet your Rep, but have them over for coffee. Republicans currently have around a 50 seat majority, so Dems would need to flip at least 25 to take control. There are at least 100 competitive races, so there is a huge chance anyone you know in NH has an interesting race. Ballotpedia has a great list here.
For ballot measures, NH has a couple of very libertarian-style measures, but nothing terrible controversial.
And that's it for the far Northeast! #beavoter