Democrats appear to have won another House seat — this one in a rural district in Maine that President Trump won two years ago.
Democrat Jared Golden led Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) by 50.53 percent to 49.47 percent after all third-party voters’ second choices were tabulated under Maine’s new ranked choice law that lets people pick their second favorite and get their votes counted in instant runoffs.
The Maine secretary of state’s office announced the new total early Thursday afternoon.
“What we see in round two is that Democrat Jared Golden has 50.53 percent of the vote and Congressman Poliquin has 49.47 percent of the vote. It looks like Jared Golden is the apparent winner,” a department official said in a press conference announcing the results.
Golden’s margin of victory: 2,905 votes.
Poliquin had narrowly led Golden after the initial vote count, but Golden won a substantial margin of votes from those whose initial choices were third-party candidates, not a total shock since the biggest draw had a left-leaning platform.
Poliquin is suing to overturn the state law to render the ranked-choice count irrelevant, but that looks like a long shot. A judge already ruled against his attempt to stop the count earlier on Thursday, but he indicated his plans to appeal.
Golden’s win means Democrats have netted at least 35 House seats, with five races yet to be called.