Today, I am going to be looking at three more senate districts in Maine: SD 30, SD 31, and SD 32, all located at the southern end of the state on the Gulf of Maine.
ME SD 30
ME SD 30 contains communities such as Gorham and North Scarborough. At the presidential level, SD 30 has been decently Democratic leaning under the existing boundaries with Barack Obama carrying it by nearly 12 points in 2012 and Hillary Clinton carrying it by between 9 and 10 points. Joe Biden was able to improve on these margins by quite a bit, as he carried it by almost 20 points. However, the district has been considerably friendlier to Republicans down-ballot, with Republican Amy Volk winning the seat in 2014, defeating incumbent Dem James Boyle by almost 6 points, and handily winning reelection in 2016 by about 19 points. In 2018, however, Dem Linda Sanborn was able to flip the seat back, as she narrowly defeated Volk by less than a percentage point. In 2020 the seat became open when Sanborn opted not to run for reelection and Dem Stacy Brenner was able to hold onto the seat, winning by nearly 8 points, an improvement over previous State Senate Dems, but still considerably underperforming Biden. For 2022, redistricting has made SD 30 a few points bluer, with some of the western/northwestern parts of the existing district, such as Buxton, removed. Specifically, Biden’s margin of victory in the district increases to nearly 25 points under the new boundaries. With more favorable boundaries for Dems and Biden’s large margin in the district, the Dems should be heavily favored here this cycle, especially given that Brenner now has the advantage of incumbency (unlike in 2020). However, the district is definitely still worth keeping an eye on, given that it seems to be quite a bit redder down-ballot and that the national environment will likely be GOP leaning. I’m classifying SD 30 as Likely Democrat.
ME SD 31
ME SD 31 contains communities such as Old Orchard Beach. Like a lot of other Maine senate districts, the existing SD 31 moved a good deal to the right in 2016, with Clinton only carrying the district by 8.5 points after Obama had carried it by nearly 22 points four years earlier. In 2020, Biden carried the district by about 15 points, performing in between Obama and Clinton. Democrats have won this seat fairly easily at the State Senate level in the past, with Dem Linda Valentino winning the seat in 2014 by a large margin of between 18 and 19 points. In 2016, Dem Justin Chenette won the open seat by about 15 points and was easily reelected by about 33 points in 2018. However, the district was closer in 2020, when it became open again, with Dem Donna Bailey winning by about 9.5 points in a marginally competitive race. Redistricting has made SD 31 a few points bluer, with the northern part of the existing district, including the community of Limington, removed, and the district now extending further east towards the northern end, adding in territory from the current SD 30 (covered above). Under the new boundaries, Biden now carries the district by between 18 and 19 points. Bailey should be favored this cycle, especially with more favorable boundaries. Still, I’m cautiously classifying SD 31 as Lean Democrat (as opposed to “Likely Democrat”) given that this year is a Biden midterm.
ME SD 32
ME SD 32 contains communities such as Spang Mills and Goodwin Mills. Similar to the previously covered SD 31, SD 32 swung heavily to the right under the existing boundaries, having gone from supporting Obama by almost 24 points to supporting Clinton by about 8 points. The Democrats rebounded somewhat in 2020, with Biden carrying the district by nearly 17 points. The district featured a marginally competitive State Senate race in 2014, with Democrat incumbent David Dutremble winning by about 10 points, though with about only 53% of the vote. However, the subsequent senate races were not competitive, with Democrat Susan Deschambault winning the seat by about 16 points in a special election, which was held in early 2016 as a result of Dutremble resigning, and easily winning reelection by about 18 points in the 2016 general, by about 25 points in 2018, and by between 14 and 15 points in 2020. However, it should be noted that Deschambault is not eligible to run again this cycle due to term limits, making the seat open. In addition, redistricting has made SD 32 a few points redder, with the district now extending further north and with some of the southeastern parts removed. In particular, Biden’s margin shrinks to about 13 points under the new boundaries. The Democrats should still be favored in the district for 2022, though it will likely be competitive, given the less favorable boundaries (for Dems) and the lack of an incumbent. I’m classifying SD 32 as Lean Democrat. At least one Republican is running for the seat, David Corbett, as is Democrat Democrat Henry Ingwersen, who previously represented the considerably redder ME HD 10 from 2018 until 2020.
Thanks to cnanalysis.com (for the 2022 pres results for both new and existing districts, and for providing a map of the new districts), Daily Kos Elections (for the remaining statewide/presidential results of the existing districts), Ballotpedia (for list of candidates) and New York Times (for precinct-level data).