Republicans had high hopes for former state Rep. Dale Crafts (R), but now it appears the pre-election die is being cast. Several political news stories report that budgets for both parties’ institutional advertising are being reduced, suggesting that the five September/October polls finding freshman Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) ahead between 13-28 points mean the Congressman likely won’t be defeated in this election cycle. Additionally, with Rep. Golden holding an almost 5:1 ratio in fundraising, it doesn’t appear the resources are present to support an upset challenger bid.
The Pan Atlantic Research company polled the state of Maine, giving us the statewide count and results from the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts. Maine is one of two states that split their electoral votes, meaning that candidates can earn an EV for carrying a federal district. In 2016, though Hillary Clinton clinched the state, President Trump won the 2nd District and that provided him an extra national vote. It appears he will need the 2nd District again.
According to the Pan Atlantic data (10/2-6; 600 ME likely voters; online), former Vice President Joe Biden’s statewide lead over President Trump is 50-40%, which is similar to what other pollsters have detected.
In the Democratic First Congressional District (300 ME likely voters), the Biden lead is 17 points, 54-37%. In the more conservative northern 2nd Congressional District (300 ME likely voters), Mr. Biden still leads, but the margin is only 47-43%. Considering that none of the three polls released here in 2016 ever showed Mr. Trump leading, and he would eventually win the 2nd by ten percentage points, a four-point deficit at this point is not a particularly daunting margin.
Sen. Susan Collins (R) appears headed back to an even footing according to a new survey that confirms others’ previous data. Critical Insights, a progressive left research firm (9/25-10/4; 466 ME “extremely likely” voters), finds Sen. Collins and state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) falling into a virtual dead heat, with the challenger holding only a 44-43% lead. In mid to late September, three individual pollsters posted Ms. Gideon to leads of 8, 7, and 4 percentage points. The high point for Gideon came earlier in September when Quinnipiac University detected a 12-point Democratic advantage.
Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, located in the northern part of the state, gave President Trump an extra electoral vote in 2016, and he needs it again. Maine and Nebraska are the two state’s that split their electoral votes meaning that even if a candidate loses the statewide count, he or she can gain an extra vote by taking a congressional district.
In mid-September, Quinnipiac University released a survey (9/10-14; 476 ME-2 likely voters; live interview, online combination) that found Joe Biden leading President Trump by a surprisingly large nine percentage points, 53-44%.
Late last week, we saw the third poll to refute those numbers, this one by Maine’s own Colby College (9/17-23; 425 ME-2 likely voters; live interview) that found the two candidates falling to within three points of each other, 46-43%. This confirms the other two latter September polls from Siena College/New York Times and Suffolk University. They both found the Biden leads at two and one point, respectively.
The second Maine survey conducted mostly during the period since the Supreme Court vacancy became a national issue was just released. The timing also includes the day when Sen. Susan Collins (R) made her statement that she would not support a vote before the election. Colby College surveyed (conducted by the SocialSphere firm; 9/17-23; ME-2 likely voters; live interview, online combination) the Pine Tree State and finds state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) leading the four-term incumbent, 45-41%. This is a better result for Ms. Gideon that the other post-vacancy poll, from Moore Information, that found the two candidates tied.
Maine employs the Ranked Choice Voting system for federal races. This means that some voters, i.e., those who vote for the candidate coming in last position, have their second choice counted. Colby College asked the second-choice question and found 46% of the respondents saying they had no alternative option. Among those who did, the voters broke evenly for the two major party candidates, with each gaining eight percentage points.
Contrary to opinion that Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) may have blown her re-election chances by immediately moving to postpone the vote on a successor to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Moore Information survey for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (9/20-22; 500 ME likely voters) finds Sen. Collins and state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) tied in their latest poll. Ms. Gideon has been ahead in the race for months, but this survey finds both candidates drawing 42%, apiece. It remains to be seen if this rather surprising trend continues as the SCOTUS replacement process begins in earnest.
Yesterday we reported that Siena College/New York Times tested the 2nd District of Maine, the state’s northern seat, (9/11-16; 440 ME-2 likely voters; live interview) and sees the Biden advantage to be 47-45%, while the Global Strategy Group surveyed NE -2 (9/14-16; 400 NE-2 likely voters; live interview) found a 51-45% Biden advantage in that district. Now Suffolk University released their own Maine poll. The 2nd District portion (9/17-20; 233 ME-2 likely voters; live interview) also forecasts a 47-45% split, thus providing confirmation for the Siena College/NYT conclusion.
Maine and Nebraska are the two states that split their electoral votes, and the two districts that have a tendency to vote opposite their state and award an electoral vote to the losing statewide candidate. ME-2 and NE-2, show leads for former Vice President Joe Biden even though they are must win races for President Trump.
Siena College/New York Times tested the 2nd District of Maine, the state’s northern seat, (9/11-16; 440 ME-2 likely voters; live interview) and sees the Biden advantage to be 47-45%. The Democratic polling firm Global Strategy Group surveyed NE -2 (9/14-16; 400 NE-2 likely voters; live interview) and posts an even larger 51-45% Biden advantage in that district. These are places to watch as the general election unfolds.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) is one of three Republican Senators who says she won’t vote for a Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election. This decision may prove costly as conservatives may abandon her re-election campaign for not supporting President Trump’s promised move to name a replacement. As a benchmark before the announcement, Siena College/New York Times released their Maine survey (9/11-16; 663 ME likely voters; live interview) that posted state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) to a 44-40% lead over Sen. Collins.
The new Quinnipiac University poll (9/10-14; 1,183 ME likely voters; live interview) finds former Vice President Joe Biden posting a huge 21-point lead over President Trump, 59-38%. The data finds the President would even lose the 2nd Congressional District, which would provide him an important extra electoral vote. In ME-2, Mr. Trump would trail Mr. Biden, 53-44%. No other Maine survey has returned numbers as stark as these. Therefore, we can expect to see more polling being conducted here in order to confirm this trend or provide a different result.
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