Maine is among 14 states voting in the presidential primary on Super Tuesday. The polls closed at 8 p.m. EST but the race was too close to call with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden vying to capture the 24 delegates up for grabs in Maine.
On Wednesday morning, Decision Desk called the race in favor of Biden by a narrow margin of 34.3% over Sanders’ 33%. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in third with 15.8% of the vote.
Just before midnight EST, Biden and Sanders were both hovering around 33 percent with about 80 percent of precincts reporting. “Maine’s margin is RAZOR-THIN right now,” FiveThirtyEight reported.
Heavy partnered with Decision Desk to show the live results of the Maine Democratic primary as they came in. Go here if you don’t see a results table below.
Maine Switched From Holding a Caucus to a Primary This Year
This Super Tuesday is the first time in two decades that Maine is holding a primary, rather than a caucus. During the 2016 election, there were delays and long lines during the caucus and the state switched to a primary system.
Maine has closed primaries, so voters must be registered as Democrats to participate in the Super Tuesday vote.
Leading Up to Super Tuesday, Bernie Sanders Was Leading in the Polls in Maine With Joe Biden in Second Place
Ahead of the Super Tuesday primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was leading the polls in Maine with 38.5 percent of the vote, according to Real Clear Politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden was in second place with 24.5 percent. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was polling third with 18 percent and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg had 14 percent.
Diane Sherwood, of Fort Fairfield, Maine, told the Bangor Daily News that Sanders is “a screamer” and she wanted to vote for someone “a little bit more balanced.”
“For me, the main thing is to beat the existing president and get him out of office,” Sherwood said. “I think Joe is the one who can do it.”
There Are 24 Delegates Up for Grabs in Maine on Super Tuesday
Maine has 24 delegates up for grabs in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. There are 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday, with a total of 1,344 delegates. Candidates need 1,991 delegates to win the Democratic nomination and face off against President Donald Trump in the general election. If a candidate doesn’t reach that number, then the convention will be contested and another vote will be held, with the winner needing a majority of the vote.
“It’s a small number of delegates, but it matters,” University of Maine political science professor Mark Brewer told AP. “All delegates matter. Especially when you’ve got a race that is multi-headed,. It also matters because you want to be able to say how many states you won on Super Tuesday.”
Biden and Sanders are likely to split the 24 delegates in Maine.
In the 2016 presidential election, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the state of Maine.
The weather was ideal in the northeastern state of Maine on Super Tuesday, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s in many areas.
Maine Is Also Voting on a Referendum on Childhood Vaccines
Maine voters also voted on Question 1 on Super Tuesday, a “people’s veto” that seeks to overturn a law that requires children to be vaccinated to attend school unless they have a medical exemption.
The ballot language for Question 1 reads as follows:
“Do you want to reject the new law that removes religious and philosophical exemptions to requiring immunization against certain communicable diseases for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of nursery schools and health care facilities?”
Voting “yes” means you want to allow these religious and philosophical exemptions, while voting “no” means you want to allow only doctor-approved medical exemptions.
If “No on 1” passes, the law would go into effect in September 2021.
The measure failed to pass.