PORTLAND, Maine — The 2nd Congressional District rematch between Bruce Poliquin and Emily Cain is already more expensive than the original.

Through the latest reporting, campaign fundraising and spending outside of the campaigns is already more than 60 percent higher than 2014, according to federal campaign disclosures.

Campaign fundraising alone had surpassed the total for 2014 by April of this year.

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Contributions and outside spending in the race reflect the longer lead time for this year’s contest. Cain announced in March 2015 she was putting her hat back in the ring, setting up a rematch less than three months after Poliquin had taken office.

As a result, both campaigns were far ahead of their fundraising pace from the last time they met.

As of June, Poliquin’s campaign had raised three times the amount his 2014 campaign had through June. Cain’s campaign had raised about twice as much as her earlier bid.

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But those figures don’t tell the whole story. Poliquin has a fundraising advantage as the incumbent, with about half of his money coming from political action committees. Outside Democratic groups, however, have also shown a strong interest in keeping pace with the Poliquin camp’s bankroll.

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Through September, outside spending topped $2.7 million, compared with a little more than $1 million by the same time in 2014.

The spending also reflects the different dynamics of the 2016 matchup, where Cain’s campaign plans to spend more time attacking Poliquin’s record after two years in office.

Accordingly, outside groups opposing Poliquin have outspent groups opposing Cain, through September. That’s a reversal from 2014, when more attack spending was directed at Cain, whose 10 years in the Maine Legislature provided a voting record as fodder for opposition ads.

This year, outside groups have spent about $1.5 million opposing Poliquin’s candidacy, compared with a little less than $1 million spent to oppose Cain. Outside groups have also dished out more in support for Cain than for Poliquin.

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And the campaign’s dynamics play into the year’s highest-stakes race, as well, with recent polling indicating that Maine’s two congressional districts could split their votes for the first time in history, with the 2nd Congressional District leaning toward Republican Donald Trump.

The race between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton presents voters a contest between two highly unfavorable candidates, which raises questions about how the historical value of presidential candidates’ coattails will affect the 2nd District race. Poliquin and Cain — and their national supporters — are breaking spending records both to buffer themselves from the potential negative impacts of unpopular candidates at the top of their party’s ticket and to link their opponent to the rival party’s equally unpopular presidential nominee.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.