Trump, L. L. Bean, and the Peculiar Politics of Maine

This article originally appeared on this site.

The state of Maine has carved out a peculiar place in American political life in recent years. Governor Paul LePage, who has served since 2011, is a Republican known for making inflammatory remarks, denouncing Hillary Clinton, and blacklisting news organizations that anger him, tendencies that may currently sound familiar. But Maine overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama, twice, despite the highly unpromising demographics he faced there; the state has no large or even midsize cities to serve as Democratic bulwarks, and its population is about ninety-eight per cent white. Meanwhile, two of the last three people Maine has sent to the Senate have been women, and all three have often occupied Congress’s lonely middle ground. Maine does not adhere to the winner-take-all system when awarding electoral votes—another quirk—and in the 2016 Presidential election the state rendered a split decision: three electoral votes for Clinton, one for Donald Trump.

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