Political eyes are trained toward New Hampshire on Tuesday, as record turnout is expected to decide the state’s first-in-the-nation primary that could change the 2016 presidential race.
The prohibitive favorites are Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump, who respectively have greater than 99 percent and 69 percent chances of winning, according to polling forecasts by FiveThirtyEight.
It’s hard to find any clues about the Maine caucuses in early March, though: Polling data is scant and the race will surely change by then, but while both Democrats have fundraising momentum here, Maine Republican donors could lose their favorite candidates.
Democrat Hillary Clinton collected $233,000 from Maine donors in December — more than any other candidate — to Sanders’ $129,000, though he drew from nearly 500 donors — more than twice Clinton’s total.
Jeb Bush is the Maine money leader among Republicans, getting $134,000. But rivals Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina had more contributors here.
What does this mean for Maine Democrats? Probably not much. Clinton is leading national polls with a big lead in South Carolina, the next primary state, even though Sanders, a senator from Vermont, will likely play well in Maine, where a poll released this week by Overtime Politics gave him a 15-point lead.
But state Republican donor favorites Bush, Carson and Fiorina are all in danger in New Hampshire. Bush is polling fifth, with Fiorina seventh and Carson eighth, according to RealClearPolitics averages.
There has been speculation that all could drop out of the race soon if those results hold. If they do, Maine donors will have to find new candidates to support.