Although Gallup polling data since Oct. 1 show Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pulling ahead of President Barack Obama among likely voters nationally, at least two recent Gallup surveys offer good news for the incumbent Democratic president. A 10-point favorability measure released Thursday rated Obama at 62 percent and Romney at 55 percent. A s urvey of whom respondents think will win favored Obama 54 percent to 34 percent. In recent presidential elections, both of these polls have had a good track record of predicting a winner, according to Gallup.
Departures and arrivals
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and Angus King, the former governor hoping to replace her in the U.S. Senate, boarded the Amtrak Downeaster on Thursday for the passenger train’s maiden voyage from Portland to Freeport to Brunswick. In press releases, both politicians claimed some credit for the expansion of passenger rail service north of Portland. Snowe’s Senate office said the Republican fought to allow Maine to spend its federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds on the Downeaster. King’s campaign said the former governor worked for eight years to establish the Downeaster, which now stretches from Boston to Brunswick.
Sen. Snowe, whose impending retirement from the U.S. Senate rocked Maine’s political hierarchy and the national Republican establishment, campaigned for both Maine Republicans challenging incumbent Democrats in the state’s U.S. House districts over the past two weeks. She traveled with and made an ad for Kevin Raye and visited Portland businesses with Jon Courtney. Snowe traveled to Massachusetts last Monday to help Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s re-election effort. But she has remained conspicuously absent from campaign events for Charlie Summers, her former employee and the GOP’s nominee to succeed her in the Senate. Summers, citing his position as Maine’s secretary of state, did not endorse Snowe after more conservative candidates announced that they would challenge her in a primary earlier this election cycle when Snowe was still considering a run for re-election. That lack of loyalty apparently spurred Snowe to steer clear of Summers’ campaign.
Like father, like son
Adam Courtney, the son of Republican 1st Congressional District candidate Jon Courtney, is running as a Republican to represent Maine House District 143. Father and son will presumably vote for each other at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Sanford, according to a release from Jon Courtney’s campaign.
Maine will be among six states targeted for National Organization for Marriage robocalls opposing same-sex marriage between now and Election Day. The effort aims to reach out to 10 million voters, according to a NOM release. Among the robotic voices at the other end of the line will be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and James Dobson, longtime head of Focus on the Family. In addition to Mainers, residents of Maryland and Washington state, which are also holding referendums on same-sex marriage, and Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, swing states in the presidential race. NOM has budgeted $500,000 for the campaign.
As Election Day nears, Angus King is the most valuable Maine candidate in MTV’s Fantasy Election ’12, which allows players to select candidates who earn points based on honesty, transparency, engagement, public opinion and civility. With 7,463 points, King holds a commanding lead over Andrew Ian Dodge, an independent candidate who’s still listed as a Republican on the MTV Fantasy Election ’12 website. Dodge has 3,000 points. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat seeking re-election in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, is the only other candidate with a positive score: 1,177. All other Maine congressional candidates either rate a zero or a negative score. In the presidential contest, Republican challenger Mitt Romney topped President Barack Obama, a Democrat, on Friday by a score of 21,458 to 20,471.