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2018 United States Senate election in Maine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2018 United States Senate election in Maine

← 2012 November 6, 2018 2024 →
Angus King, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Eric Brakey by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Zak Ringelstein in Biddeford, Maine (cropped).jpg
Nominee Angus King Eric Brakey Zak Ringelstein
Party Independent Republican Democratic
Popular vote 344,575 223,502 66,268
Percentage 54.3% 35.2% 10.5%

United States Senate election in Maine, 2018.svg
County Results

King:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

Brakey:      40–50%

U.S. senator before election

Angus King

Elected U.S. Senator

Angus King

The 2018 United States Senate election in Maine was held on November 6, 2018, alongside a gubernatorial election, U.S. House elections, and other state and local elections. Incumbent Independent Senator Angus King won reelection to a second term.

The primary election was held on June 12, 2018.[1]

The U.S. Senate elections were conducted with ranked-choice voting, as opposed to a simple plurality, after Maine voters passed a citizen referendum approving the change in 2016[2] and a June 2018 referendum sustaining the change.[3] Ranked choice voting was used in the primary elections as well.[4] The first round of each election saw a majority and the instant runoff did not need to be carried out.


A part of New England, Maine was once a bastion of the Republican Party, and was one of two states to vote against Franklin Roosevelt all four times he ran for president. Lyndon Johnson won the state in 1964, and Hubert Humphrey carried it in 1968 before the state reverted to form and reestablished a GOP voting streak that lasted until the 1990s. With the GOP progressively becoming more culturally conservative, the state began moving toward the Democrats, and Bill Clinton carried it in 1992. Clinton's win established a Democratic winning streak that lasted until Donald Trump won an electoral vote from the state's second congressional district in 2016 despite losing the rest of the state.[5]

The state has a tradition of electing various independent candidates to high office, such as Angus King, who served as governor of the state from 1995 to 2003. In 2012, King's decision to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Olympia Snowe dramatized the battle for the Senate, as he left open whether he would caucus with the Republicans or the Democrats.[6] He eventually decided to caucus with the Democrats and has established a center-left voting record.[7]


King said his reelection plans would not be affected by treatment for prostate cancer, which he announced he had on June 22, 2015.[8]



Republican primary

On January 12, 2015, Maine Governor Paul LePage made a statement on Howie Carr's radio program that he might run for U.S. Senate against King, citing King's switching his endorsement in the 2014 gubernatorial election from independent candidate Eliot Cutler to Democratic candidate Mike Michaud as a "horrible thing to do".[10] The next day, LePage said his comment was a joke,[9] though on an August 25, 2015 appearance on Carr's program, he said he was "very strongly" considering running, citing King's caucusing with Senate Democrats.[11] LePage also criticized King for his involvement in the Maine wind energy industry, saying King "ripped us off by $104 million during his eight years as governor – he ripped us off, royally, and I can’t wait until 2018 because I’m thinking that’s the guy I'm going after." A spokesman for King dismissed LePage's criticism.[12]

On May 10, 2016, LePage announced at a town hall meeting in Oakland that he would run against King unless he was hired by the Donald Trump administration.[13] On May 10, 2017, LePage decided not to run; his spokesman said he preferred to focus on being governor.[14] On July 20, 2017, LePage again said he "might" challenge King.[15] Trump personally encouraged LePage to run and offered his endorsement.[16] LePage did not file to run by the March 15, 2018 deadline.[17][18]

Eric Brakey's campaign successfully contested 258 signatures to Max Linn's petitions to appear on the primary ballot, which meant that Linn had 10 fewer signatures than the 2,000 needed to be on the ballot. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap then declared Linn ineligible to be a candidate, although it was too late to remove Linn's name from the ballot. Voters were informed of Linn's status when they voted, and any votes cast for him were counted as blanks.[19] Nevertheless, Linn's campaign was active on Twitter and placed campaign signs along roads in Maine. Linn signs were also seen in New Hampshire, including in Dover. Dover city officials said they would remove the signs upon request if Linn's campaign did not remove them, because Linn is not a candidate in a New Hampshire election and because the signs were placed improperly.[20] Linn appealed the decision to disqualify him to U.S. District Court in Portland, but Judge Nancy Torresen rejected Linn's request for an injunction to bar Dunlap from informing voters he is ineligible. Linn subsequently announced he would run against U.S. Senator Susan Collins in the 2020 Republican primary election.[21]


On the ballot

Declared ineligible



Eric Brakey
U.S. Senators
U.S. Governors
U.S. Representatives
State Officials


Results by county  Map legend .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Brakey—70–80%   Brakey—60–70%   Brakey—50–60%   Blank ballots—50–60%
Results by county
Republican primary results[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Eric Brakey 59,853 58.92%
Republican Blank ballots 41,732 41.08%
Total votes 101,585 100.00%

Democratic primary

The Democratic primary race initially included both teacher Zak Ringelstein and homebuilder Benjamin Pollard, but Pollard withdrew to run as an Independent two days after Ringelstein announced a list of 16 endorsements from Democratic state legislators.[34] Ringelstein is the only major-party candidate for Senate to be a dues-paying member of the Democratic Socialists of America.[35]



  • Zak Ringelstein, teacher and founder of UClass[36]


  • Benjamin Pollard, homebuilder and primary and write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012[37]



Zak Ringelstein
State Senators
State Representatives
Other politicians
Journalists, commentators, and editors


Results by county  Map legend   Ringelstein—70–80%   Ringelstein—60–70%
Results by county
Democratic primary results[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Zak Ringelstein 89,841 67.65%
Democratic Blank ballots 42,955 32.35%
Total votes 132,795 100.00%

Libertarian primary


Failed to make ballot

  • Chris Lyons, write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014[51]

General election



Angus King (I)
Statewide politicians
Local politicians
Other individuals
Eric Brakey (R)
U.S. Senators
U.S. Governors
U.S. Representatives
State Officials
Zak Ringelstein (D)
State Senators
State Representatives
Other politicians
Other individuals


Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[76] Safe I October 26, 2018
Inside Elections[77] Safe I November 1, 2018
Sabato's Crystal Ball[78] Safe I November 5, 2018
Fox News[79][a] Likely I November 5, 2018
CNN[80] Solid I November 5, 2018
RealClearPolitics[81] Safe I November 5, 2018
  1. ^ The Fox News Midterm Power Rankings uniquely does not contain a category for Safe/Solid races


Poll source Date(s)
of error
King (I)
Brakey (R)
Ringelstein (D)
Emerson College October 27–29, 2018 883 ± 3.5% Round 1 50% 37% 6% 7%
Critical Insights (R-Brakey) October 8–16, 2018 600 ± 3.9% Round 1 41% 27% 7% 23%
Pan Atlantic Research October 1–7, 2018 500 ± 4.4% Round 1 57% 30% 8% 5%
Self-Made Insights (R-Brakey) September 27–30, 2018 750 ± 3.4% Round 1 47% 36% 8%
Suffolk University August 2–6, 2018 500 ± 4.4% Round 1 52% 25% 9% 15%
Round 2[82] 58% 27% 15%


United States Senate election in Maine, 2018[83]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Angus King (incumbent) 344,575 54.31% +1.42%
Republican Eric Brakey 223,502 35.23% +4.48%
Democratic Zak Ringelstein 66,268 10.45% -2.81%
Write-in 64 0.01% N/A
Total votes 634,409 100.00% N/A
Independent hold

See also


  1. ^ "United States Senate election in Maine, 2018 - Ballotpedia". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "Maine became the first state in the country Tuesday to pass ranked choice voting". Boston Globe. November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "Maine Voters Overrule Their Leaders". The Atlantic. June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ranked-choice voting fans hope Maine's experiment pays off". June 21, 2018. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "Maine Presidential Election Voting History".
  6. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (May 6, 2012). "Senate Control Could Hinge on Angus King of Maine" – via
  7. ^ "Angus King".
  8. ^ Brogan, Beth (June 22, 2015). "Sen. Angus King to have surgery for prostate cancer". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "LePage says comment about Senate run a joke". WMTW-TV. January 13, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Miller, Kevin (January 12, 2015). "LePage says he's considering Senate run against King". WMTW-TV. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  11. ^ Thistle, Scott (August 25, 2015). "LePage tells Howie Carr he may challenge Angus King in 2018". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Graham, Gillian (April 13, 2016). "LePage giving 'very serious thought' to challenging King for Senate seat". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  13. ^ "Gov. LePage says he'll take on Angus King". WGME-TV. May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Cousins, Christopher (May 10, 2017). "LePage won't oppose Angus King for U.S. Senate in 2018". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Kaczynski, Andrew. "Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he might change his mind and run for Senate". CNN.
  16. ^ Dawsey, Josh (December 6, 2017). "Trump wants LePage to challenge King in U.S. Senate race in Maine". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  17. ^ "All Upcoming Deadlines - Maine Ethics Commission".
  18. ^ "Search results -".
  19. ^ a b Collins, Steve (February 1, 2018). "Bar Harbor financial planner jumps into race to challenge King". Kennebec Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Miller, Kevin (May 31, 2018). "Disqualified in Maine, Max Linn now has campaign signs in New Hampshire". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  21. ^ Thistle, Scott (June 8, 2018). "Federal judge rejects Max Linn's effort to run in Maine Republican primary". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  22. ^ Shepherd, Michael (April 3, 2017). "GOP state senator Eric Brakey kicks off underdog 2018 bid to unseat Angus King". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  23. ^ Thistle, Scott (April 24, 2018). "More bogus petition signatures end Republican Max Linn's run for U.S. Senate". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  24. ^ Collins, Steve (September 5, 2017). "Holbrook says he looked at running for U.S. Senate but will stay in U.S. House race". Sun Journal. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  25. ^ "Paul LePage won't run for Senate in 2018". The Boston Globe.
  26. ^ "Huge endorsement today from Ted Cruz, he knows that Eric Brakey for U.S. Senate is the only candidate in this election that will stand up for individual liberties and personal freedom". July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Rand Paul backs libertarian-leaning Republican Eric Brakey for U.S. Senate". Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "LePage Endorses Brakey's U.S. Senate Run". June 9, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  29. ^ a b RonPaulLibertyReport (April 12, 2017). "Liberty In Maine - With US Senate Candidate Eric Brakey" – via YouTube.
  30. ^ a b "Former Maine GOP chair endorses Brakey for U.S. Senate". September 7, 2017.
  31. ^ a b "Austin Petersen on Facebook". Facebook. July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  32. ^ a b Clay, Henry. "Interview With GOP Senate Candidate Eric Brakey". Archived from the original on January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  33. ^ "2018 Maine Republican primary election results". Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  34. ^ Collins, Steve. "Benjamin Pollard quits Democrats, plans independent bid for U.S. Senate". Portland Press Herald. Portland Press Herald. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  35. ^ Peoples, Steve (July 21, 2018). "Democratic socialism, with Kaniela Ing in the mix, surges in the age of Trump". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  36. ^ "Educator Ringelstein declares candidacy for U.S. Senate seat". WGME. October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  37. ^ "Pollard quits Democrats, plans independent bid for U.S. Senate seat - Lewiston Sun Journal". March 2, 2018.
  38. ^ Griffiths, Shawn M. (January 13, 2017). "Diane Russell Considers 2018 US Senate Run". IVN News. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  39. ^ "Former Portland state Rep. Diane Russell joins governor's race". August 10, 2017.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar "Ringelstein for Maine - Endorsements".
  41. ^ a b Emerson, Anthony [@AnthonyEmerso14] (September 7, 2018). "Former gubernatorial candidate @BetsySweetMaine endorsed @RingelsteinME at an event last evening. Ringelstein called her "one of [his] political heroes." #mepolitics" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  42. ^ a b "Maine Teacher Could Unseat Millionaire Incumbent Senator" – via
  43. ^ a b 2018 U.S. Senate and House Candidates Archived January 11, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, January 22, 2018
  44. ^
  45. ^ a b Press Release: Southern Maine DSA Endorses Zak Ringelstein in June primary for US Senate, March 27, 2018
  46. ^ a b "Local Berniecrats ME on Twitter".
  47. ^ a b Indivisible Lincoln County Endorsement, May 31, 2018
  48. ^ a b Political Revolution Endorsement, June 9, 2018
  49. ^ a b Zak Ringelstein Our Endorsement, June 23, 2018
  50. ^ "2018 Maine Democratic primary election results". Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  51. ^ "Brunswick resident seeks Libertarian Party nomination". The Times Record. August 8, 2017. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  52. ^ Angus King [@AngusforMaine] (October 11, 2018). ""I strongly support his reelection to the U.S. Senate." -- Adam Cote, Major (Ret.), Veteran of Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  53. ^ a b Acquisto, Alex (August 17, 2018). "Mitchell, Cohen decry "dysfunctional Congress" at Angus King event". Bangor Daily News.
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah "Independents, Democrats, Republicans Agree: King is Leader Maine Needs". July 27, 2018.
  55. ^ End Citizens United endorses Angus King for U.S. Senate, July 7, 2017
  56. ^ "King Civil Rights Record Secures Support of EqualityMaine" (Press release). September 7, 2018.
  57. ^ "Human Rights Campaign Calls King: 'Lifelong Fighter for Civil Rights'". Angus for Maine. June 29, 2018.
  58. ^ "2018 Senate Endorsees". JStreetPAC.
  59. ^ "LCV Action Fund Endorses Senator Angus King for Re-Election". League of Conservation Voters. July 2, 2018.
  60. ^ "King Campaign Announces Endorsement of the Maine Education Association". Angus for Maine. June 25, 2018.
  61. ^ "Candidates We Endorse and Support".
  62. ^ "List of Endorsements: 2018 Election". Planned Parenthood. June 26, 2018.
  63. ^ "Population Connection Action Fund Endorsements". Population Connection.
  64. ^ "Maine Firefighters Endorse Senator King: "Angus King has stood with us every step of the way."". Angus for Maine. June 27, 2018.
  65. ^ "Sierra Club #ClimateVoter Guide: Endorsements".
  66. ^ "Angus King has earned another term in the US Senate". October 17, 2018.
  67. ^ "Our Endorsement: Editorial Board backs 2nd term for Sen. King". October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  68. ^ "Our Endorsement: Editorial Board backs second term for Sen. Angus King". October 23, 2018.
  69. ^ Maine College Republicans [@MaineCR] (July 30, 2018). "Huge endorsement today from @tedcruz, he knows that @SenatorBrakey is the only candidate in this election that will stand up for individual liberties and personal freedom #mepolitics" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  70. ^ Bleiberg, Jake (September 13, 2018). "Donald Trump Jr. coming to Maine to support Brakey". Bangor Daily News.
  71. ^ "Log In or Sign Up to View".
  72. ^ Helms, Andrew (October 10, 2018). "Meet the Couple Making Propaganda for a New Generation of Socialist Politicians". The Ringer.
  73. ^ "Brand New Congress".
  74. ^ Democratic Socialists of America [@DemSocialists] (August 16, 2018). "DSA is proud to announce national endorsements for 13 incredible candidates running for local, state, and federal office" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  75. ^ "It's Time To Vote: Phoenix Endorsements for the 2018 Elections". November 1, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  76. ^ "2018 Senate Race Ratings". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  77. ^ "2018 Senate Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  78. ^ "2018 Crystal Ball Senate race ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  79. ^ "2018 Senate Power Rankings". Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  80. ^ "Key Races: Senate". Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  81. ^ "Battle for the Senate 2018". Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  82. ^ In the actual election, no second round of vote tabulating would be needed if a candidate won 50% of the vote in the first round.
  83. ^ "Tabulation of Official Results for 2018 US Senate race — Maine Secretary of State".

External links

Official campaign websites
This page was last edited on 9 October 2020, at 02:46
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