Follow the Money: Maine Federal Campaign Finance Tracker

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 10:00pm

Mainers are facing a historic congressional election season. 

In November, voters will decide whether to keep Sen. Susan Collins — the only Republican representing a New England state in Congress — in the office she has held since 1997. Record-breaking sums of money are pouring into the race from across the country, attempting to sway voters.

Mainers in the 2nd Congressional District will also weigh in on whether first-term Rep. Jared Golden’s moderate voice in the Democratic caucus — following a narrow victory over his Republican predecessor — has adequately suited the split district’s needs. 

But first, the parties must finalize their opponents for the incumbents in the July 14 primary. 

Leading up to both the primary and the general election, campaign contributions help illuminate the forces acting for and against each candidate. 

Follow the money influencing Maine’s congressional races using the interactive dashboards below.

The dashboards bring together data from the Federal Elections Commission covering direct campaign contributions, outside spending and party-coordinated spending. The dashboards aim to provide a broader look at money spent to influence a specific race, beyond just campaign coffers.

U.S. Senate

Maine’s Senate race is the focus of national attention, as Democrats seek to flip the seat held by Collins. The Democratic establishment has lined up behind Maine’s Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon of Freeport, who faces a handful of primary challengers. Several unenrolled candidates are also vying for the seat.

The national attention on this contest has helped it break spending records, with the campaigns themselves building substantial war chests and outside groups already pouring in more than $9.2 million as of early June.

U.S. House of Representatives – 2nd Congressional District

Golden narrowly wrested Maine’s 2nd Congressional District from Republican Bruce Poliquin two years ago, with ranked-choice voting determining his win. The race was the first in the country that used the ranked-choice method to elect a federal representative. 

The result did two things: it showed how competitive this historically blue district has become and, following Poliquin’s unsuccessful legal challenge of the outcome, it solidified ranked-choice voting’s future for Maine elections to federal office.

Republicans have a competitive three-way primary between Adrienne Bennett, former Gov. Paul LePage’s press secretary; Eric Brakey, a libertarian and former state senator from Auburn; and Dale Crafts, a Lisbon Falls businessman.

U.S. House of Representatives – 1st Congressional District

Longtime Democratic incumbent Chellie Pingree is up for re-election again in the 1st Congressional District, running against Republican Jay Allen. The district is a safe one for Democrats and, as a result, the race has attracted far less spending and attention. The only outside spending as of early June was $10 from the Sierra Club, supporting Pingree.