Nov 15, 2018

Democrats flip another House seat, this time in Maine

Rep. Bruce Poliquin. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Democrat Jared Golden, Assistant Maine House Majority Leader, has defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine's 2nd Congressional district.

Why it matters: Golden's win is not only another Trump-leaning pick-up for the Democrats, but it was also the first ever House race decided by ranked-choice voting, in which voters rank candidates in order of preference. Maine voters approved the use of ranked-choice voting in 2016.

Details: Despite Poliquin getting 46.3% of votes to Goldenโ€™s 45.6%, Golden took the lead after the ranked-choice votes of two independents in the race were redistributed to the candidates Thursday afternoon. The final vote tally was 139,231 votes for Golden, while Poliquin received 136,326 votes (or 50.5% to 49.5%).

  • Yes, but: This may not be the end. According to Maine's Portland Press Herald, "Poliquin is challenging the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting in federal court, and the campaign could ask for a recount of the results."

One more thing: The race between Poliquin and Golden was also "the most expensive U.S. House election in U.S. history," with a total of $20.6 million spent by candidates and outside groups, according to Maine's Bangor Daily News.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 โ€” while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

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Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.