A ‘blue’ state where Republicans see cracks

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By Robert Knight - - Sunday, September 25, 2016


FARMINGTON — In the mountains of Western Maine, the leaves are only just now starting to turn, which means they’re on schedule to display riotous color despite a summer drought that has lowered some lakes by more than four feet.

As the weather cools, the political game is heating up, though it can’t compete for attention with the division-leading Boston Red Sox or New England Patriots.

With a population of 1.3 million, Maine is one of those curious “blue” states in which Republicans are competitive. The GOP holds the Senate with 20 members over 15 Democrats, while the Dems have a 78 to 69 House majority. The national delegation is also split, with a congressman and U.S. senator from each party. Well, okay, Sen. Angus King is technically an Independent, but he caucuses with the Democrats.

Few cars or trucks sport national political bumper stickers, and many local candidates dread being asked aboutDonald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

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