Rep. Jared Golden declared victory Thursday morning in the three-way contest for the U.S. House seat in District 2. 

Noting that more than 95% of the vote has been counted, Golden said his 4% lead over Republican challenger Bruce Poliquin would only increase after a ranked-choice tabulation planned for Tuesday.

“I am deeply honored that the people of Maine’s 2nd District have chosen me to represent them in Washington for another two-year term,” Golden said. “Although Bruce Poliquin may not be willing to concede, at this point the final result is undeniably clear. The few precincts that remain cannot meaningfully alter the position of this race. In an instant runoff against Bruce Poliquin, we are confident that our lead will hold or even extend by a comfortable margin.”

Golden said his confidence was based on analysis by the Bangor Daily News that his victory was “all but assured” and that a Poliquin win at this point would be “functionally impossible,” making the ranked-choice voting process a mere formality. 

The latest numbers Thursday showed Golden with 48% (147,621), Poliquin with 44.7% (136,426) and independent candidate Tiffany Bond with 6.9% (20,931). 

Maine's secretary of state’s office will oversee the instant runoff on Tuesday since no candidate has cleared 50% of the vote. 

Barring any mathematical miracles, a political analysts says Golden’s team won’t likely have to change its stance. 

“The campaign had hedged its bets by not having any sort of election night event, understanding that it was likely that this would be heading to RCV tabulation,” said University of Maine Professor of Political Science, Rob Glover, “but I understand it and I think he’s right to be confident enough to declare victory. The margin is much wider than it was in 2018. And I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of those Tiffany Bond first-rankings are going to Golden.”

Requests for comment from Poliquin and Bond were not immediately returned.