Cook Political Report changes forecast of CD2 election from “leans Democratic” to “toss up”

 

Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain (left) listens as Republican former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin makes a comment about her during the 2nd Congressional District debate on Tuesday at the CBS 13 television studios in Portland. BDN photo by Troy Bennett

Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain (left) listens as Republican former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin makes a comment about her during the 2nd Congressional District debate on Tuesday at the CBS 13 television studios in Portland. BDN photo by Troy Bennett

The Cook Political Report, which analyzes federal and gubernatorial elections, is now calling Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race a toss up. A week ago, the newsletter still had the race leaning in the Democrats’ favor, but said at the time that it was “on the brink of joining the Toss Up column.”

Here’s political analyst David Wasserman’s take on the race, which was sent to me by Ian Prior, an NRCC press secretary.

Most Democrats thought this race would be put to bed by now. After all, Republicans nominated a two-time losing statewide candidate with an investment banking background and ties to polarizing Gov. Paul LePage. And, Democrats nominated a young, energetic female state legislator who had earned strong support from EMILY’s List.

Yet both GOP former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain began the fall very poorly defined, and the NRCC and Poliquin have taken advantage of an opening while the DCCC has sat out. Meanwhile, some Cain backers complain she comes across better in person than she does in her ads. As a result, a slew of public and private polls depicts a very tight race.

Last week, EMILY’s List’s Women Vote! campaign arm took to the airwaves to hit Poliquin as a “Wall Street Dealmaker,” and Democrats’ House Majority PAC will play here too. Also benefiting Cain is the presence of a Tea Party-minded Independent, Blaine Richardson, on the fall ballot. Cain may regain her edge when Democratic voters “come home,” but for now this race joins the Toss Up column.

Nell Gluckman

About Nell Gluckman

Nell is the education reporter for the Bangor Daily News, but she will be helping out the political team by covering the 2nd Congressional District election this year. Before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2013, Nell worked for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. She is a graduate of George Washington and Columbia Universities. Originally from New York City, Nell now lives in Bangor.