The Democratic-controlled Maine Legislature could be among the most competitive battlegrounds in the U.S. this November, according to two forecasts.
Maine will have elections for all 151 House districts and 35 Senate districts this November using maps drawn by the Legislature’s apportionment commission last year. While the state leans Democratic and the new legislative maps gave Democrats a slight edge, the seats sitting at the fulcrum of each chamber lean slightly Republican, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.
The site characterized Maine as “one of the most competitive legislatures in the country,” noting the races that will likely decide which party controls the chamber are competitive. Democrats currently hold 80 of 151 seats in the Maine House, while Republicans hold 64 seats with three independents and four seats vacant.
The election forecasting site CNalysis also updated its ratings on Saturday, switching the Maine House from a toss-up status to leaning slightly toward Republicans. The Senate still favors Democrats slightly, the forecast suggests.
Democrats enter the midterms with a slightly larger majority in the Senate than the House. They currently hold 21 seats in the upper chamber while Republicans hold 13. One seat is currently empty after former Sen. Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth, resigned earlier this year to take a job with the federal Small Business Administration.
Rep. Nicole Grohoski, D-Ellsworth, faces former Sen. Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth, in a special election in June to fill the seat through November. Langley and Grohoski are also set to be the candidates in the general election, which will use the new maps.
Both parties will still see dozens of primaries in June before the final slate of legislative candidates is set. Republicans briefly had a trifecta in Augusta after the 2010 midterms, but Democrats took back the Maine House in 2012.
They also won the Senate in 2018, when Gov. Janet Mills was also elected. Democrats held onto that trifecta after the 2020 elections, although their majority in the Maine House narrowed that year while they added a seat to their Senate margin. Mills is up for reelection in 2022 against former Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican.