Democratic Leaders Court Candidate for House Rematch
Updated 8:22 p.m. | Former Maine state Sen. Emily Cain is on Capitol Hill this week being recruited by House leadership to run again in 2016.
According to a Democratic source, Cain is meeting Wednesday and Thursday with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján to discuss a potential rematch with GOP Rep.-elect Bruce Poliquin.
Poliquin beat Cain by 5 points in the open-seat race for the 2nd District, located in the northern half of the Pine Tree State.
Democratic strategists say the result was a “fluke.” A competitive governor’s race boosted Republican turnout, with GOP Gov. Paul LePage winning re-election over the district’s outgoing Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud.
Their hope is that a presidential electorate would help boost her to victory in 2016. President Barack Obama carried the district by 11 points in 2008 and by 9 points in 2012. And in six terms, Michaud never won re-election with less than 55 percent.
Democrats also noted that Cain proved to be an adept fundraiser, bringing in $1.7 million for the contest, and that polling showed her personal favorability among voters remained high throughout the contest.
Cain told the Kennebec Journal last month she was “contemplating 2016.” A spokeswoman for Cain could not immediately be reached for comment on her Washington, D.C. trip.
For their part, Poliquin’s campaign says they are confident they can hold onto the seat in two years.
“The ink is barely dry on November’s election results which saw the Democrats lose Maine’s 2nd District by more than 5 points,” said Brent Littlefield, a consultant for Poliquin’s campaign. “Maine had the highest turnout in the nation and those Democrat, Republican and independent voters chose job creator Bruce Poliquin as their voice in Washington. The fundamentals of the electorate will not change moving forward.”
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