As the weather cooled and the leaves started to color in Maine last fall, the state legislature was heating up in debate over the Republican and Democratic proposals to redraw the Pine Tree State’s district lines.
The redistricting battle between Republicans and Democrats was likely the result of close congressional races in 2010, when both districts fell to Democrats. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), who beat Republican challenger Dean Scontras by a 57-43 margin, holds Maine’s 1st district, and Representative Michael Michaud won by a 55-45 margin to take Maine’s 2nd district. In 2011, when Democrats and Republicans both proposed redistricting maps, the two plans showed significant differences. The Democratic plan presented little change to the existing map, while the Republican plan proposed shifting approximately 360,000 Mainers—one quarter of the state’s voters—between the two districts. The Republican plan also relocated Pingree’s hometown of North Haven into the middle of the 2nd district. Continue reading