With more than a full year before the next election, Democrats are already targeting Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s Second Congressional District.

His opponent in the last election, Emily Cain, announced her intent to run to unseat Poliquin just weeks after failing in her original bid against him. And now, this bit of news from a BDN media partner, MPBN:

“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running radio ads in the Bangor and Augusta markets criticizing Poliquin’s position on the import-export bank re-authorization.”

Traditionally, a candidate for Congress is most vulnerable in his or her first re-election, and Democrats obviously see an opportunity to reclaim the seat.

How likely is that? Well, not very, if history is any indication.

It’s been nearly a full century since any candidate, Republican or Democratic, was unseated in a re-election bid for Maine’s 2nd CD. That would be Democrat Daniel J. McGillicuddy, who served for four terms before being unseated in 1916.

Expanding the scope to statewide races in Maine, the picture isn’t much rosier. Governors have been reliably re-elected since 1966, when Republican John H. Reed was defeated by Democrat Kenneth M. Curtis.

In Senate races, Democrat William Hathaway was defeated by Republican Bill Cohen in 1978 after just one term as senator. Republican Frederick G. Payne was defeated in 1958 by Democrat Ed Muskie, also after just one term.

In the First Congressional District, conservative James Longley Jr. (son of James Longley the governor) was soundly defeated in 1996 by Democrat Tom Allen after just one term in the reliably Democratic district.

Interesting sidebar: Reed served nearly a full eight years as governor, starting in December of 1959. He was the fourth governor to serve in 1959, after Muskie, who resigned to take his seat in the U.S. Senate; Robert Haskell, who as Maine Senate president served for a whopping five days as interim until the elected governor was sworn in; and Clinton Clauson, who died after 11 months in office. He was allowed to run for a third term because he succeeded Clauson by virtue of being Senate president at the time, and the Maine Constitution only limits governors to “two consecutive popular elective 4-year terms of office.”

Second Congressional District history

(Images and some data via Wikipedia)

NameServedReason for Leaving Office
Bruce Poliquin2015-??
Mike Michaud2003-2015Voluntary, retired to run for governor (Unsuccessful)
John Baldacci1995-2003Voluntary, retired to run for governor (Successful)
Olympia Snowe1979-1995Voluntary, retired to run for U.S. Senate (Successful)
William Cohen1973-1979Voluntary, retired to run for U.S. Senate (Successful)
William Hathaway1965-1973Voluntary, retired to run for U.S. Senate (Successful)
Clifford McIntire1963-1965Voluntary, retired to run for U.S. Senate (Unsuccessful)
Stanley R. Tupper1961-1963Redistricted to First District, further served from 1973-1967
Frank M. Coffin1957-1961Voluntary, retired to run for governor (Unsuccessful)
Charles P. Nelson1949-1957Voluntary, retired to be a teacher at University of Florida
Margaret Chase Smith1940-1949Voluntary, retired to run for U.S. Senate (Successful)
Clyde H. Smith1937-1940Died in office
Edward C. Moran, Jr.1933-1937Voluntary, did not run for re-election
Donald B. Partridge1931-1933Voluntary, did not run for re-election
Wallace H. White, Jr.1917-1931Voluntary, retired to run for U.S. Senate (Successful)
Daniel J. McGillicuddy1911-1917Defeated in re-election bid

Governor History

NameServedReason for Leaving Office
Paul LePage2011-Current
John Baldacci2003-2011Term Limits
Angus King1995-2003Term Limits
John R. McKernan, Jr.1987-1995Term Limits
Joseph E. Brennan1979-1987Term Limits
James B. Longley1975-1979Promised to only serve one term, did not seek re-election
Kenneth M. Curtis1967-1975Term Limits
John H. Reed1959-1967Defeated in re-election bid

Senate History

NameServedReason for Leaving Office
Angus King2013-??
Susan Collins1997-??
Olympia Snowe1995-2013Retired
George J. Mitchell1980-1995Retired
William Cohen1979-1997Retired
William Hathaway1972-1979Defeated in re-election bid
Edmund Muskie1959-1980Resigned to serve as Secretary of State
Frederick G. Payne1953-1959Defeated in re-election bid

First Congressional District History

NameServedReason for Leaving Office
Chellie Pingree2009-??
Thomas H. Allen1997-2009Voluntary, retired to run for U.S. Senate (Unsuccessful)
James B. Longley, Jr.1995-1997Defeated in re-election bid

This video is from Poliquin’s election night headquarters:

[bdnvideo id=”1820519″]