A super PAC supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is considering going on television in Maine, the Portland Press-Herald reported. According to CNN, the pro-Romney group, Restore Our Future, has already reserved air time in the state.
Restore Our Future has identified Maine's more rural 2nd district as a target for possible ad spending if funds become available, according to a recent email to the super PAC's donors that was obtained by Time's Mark Halperin. In Maine, (and Nebraska,) electoral votes are not awarded on a winner-take-all basis, but rather to the victor in each Congressional district.
"As the Romney-Ryan momentum grows, and more states become within reach, the needs list grows," the email said, demonstrating that campaigns and outside groups are leaving no stone unturned in the search for electoral votes.
A Press-Herald poll released at the beginning of this month showed that while President Barack Obama had an insurmountable lead in Maine's coastal 1st district, the story could be quite different in the 2nd district, which encompasses much of the state's more rural, inland territory. There, Obama had a 5 point lead over Romney, the survey revealed, suggesting to Republicans that they have a chance to pick off an electoral vote in the state.
Super PACs backing Republicans are already spending in Maine in opposition to former Gov. Angus King (I), who is running for an open Senate seat. Crossroads GPS launched a new ad in there today, criticizing King's involvement in the windmill business that the ad says is "cluttering Maine's scenic beauty."
While Maine is drawing national interest because of the unusual three-way Senate race involving King, the same cannot be said for Nebraska, despite the efforts of former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D).
In 2008, Obama actually won the 2nd district in Nebraska. That's an Omaha-based seat with more urban characteristics than the rest of the state. Rep. Lee Terry (R) has represented the 2nd district since 1999.
An Omaha World-Herald survey last month found Romney and Obama tied at 44 percent in the district. The World-Herald said that the Obama campaign has made less of an effort in the state in terms of staffing this cycle.
Omaha, however, shares a media market with the western part of the swing-state of Iowa, meaning that ad spending and intense attention in Iowa bleeds across the Missouri River. If the Electoral College ends up close enough, either of these rogue electoral votes could tip the election — which supporters on both sides seem to realize.