Maine is one of only two states which split their electoral votes - Nebraska being the other. The real fight in Maine is for the one electoral vote in the 2nd Congressional District, the northern more rural area. We ran President Obama’s campaign in 2008 and 2012. These were two entirely different campaigns, but they shared a single outcome – Barack Obama winning all four electoral votes in Maine.
The answer? Everything had to line up perfectly for the “No” campaign. Placed on the ballot was Question 1, which would have raised the City's standard minimum wage for workers to $15 per hour. Across the country there has been a movement to increase the minimum wage to $15 for all workers, like in San Francisco, and for specific type of workers, like in Massachusetts and New York City. Portland being a progressive city, one would assume the voters would have voted for the increase. But Portland is also home to pragmatic progressives.
Just weeks prior to Election Day 2010, down 15 points in the polls, we were called in to run the campaign to defeat Question 3. The measure would have reduced the state sales tax rate from 6.25 to 3 percent. While it would be easy to assume that the liberal bastion of Massachusetts would never approve such a measure, it was clearly not immune to the national mood of fiscal restraint facing the nation during the recession: just months earlier, Bay State voters had elected Senator Scott Brown to the Liberal Lion’s, Senator Ted Kennedy, seat.
One coalition came together to defeat Question 2 and Question 4 on the Maine ballot back in 2009. Question 2, the Maine Auto Excise Tax Repeal Initiative, would have cut the car excise tax in half. Question 4, better known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), would have limited government spending increases to increases in population and inflation. Initial polling had Question 2 passing by 15%, and Question 4 passing by 24%.
What do you do when there are limited resources, the economy is in a free fall, and you have to ask voters to approve a $33 million bond to renovate a recreational civic center? You focus on the community, provide a vision of what the building will look like, and explain how this is a job creating initiative in tough times.
In December of 2012, Toby McGrath was hired by DCP Midstream to defeat a moratorium that would be on the Searsport ballot in March of 2012. If the moratorium was passed it would have shut down the alternative energy project.
In 2011 Portland, Maine, was going to elect a mayor by popular vote for the first time in 88 years. There was also an interesting wrinkle on how that vote would occur: Portland had recently implemented ranked choice voting, meaning voters would rank the 15 competing candidates on the ballot.