POLL QUESTION

Students choose Obama, King, House incumbents, same-sex marriage in mock election

Posted Nov. 05, 2012, at 5:57 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 06, 2012, at 8:06 a.m.

Poll Question

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking during a campaign rally in Byrd park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012.
Steve Helber | AP
President Barack Obama gestures while speaking during a campaign rally in Byrd park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012.

AUGUSTA, Maine — President Barack Obama has won Maine’s electoral votes, independent Angus King is Maine’s next U.S. senator, U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree are returning to Congress and Maine’s same-sex marriage ballot measure has passed.

At least that’s how this year’s elections would take shape if the 43,000 Maine students who participated in mock elections this fall were the electorate.

The Maine Secretary of State’s office on Monday posted the results from student elections at more than 185 schools. The results don’t include votes from more than 60 schools that planned to participate in the mock election, but hadn’t submitted their results to the Secretary of State’s office by late Monday.

Students will find out soon enough whether the voting-age electorate follows their lead.

Obama took the student vote by a wider margin than most recent Maine polls have predicted. The president took 61 percent of the student vote, compared to 34 percent for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Green Party candidate Jill Stein took 2.5 percent of the student vote while Libertarian Gary Johnson claimed 2.2 percent.

The Secretary of State’s office didn’t break down the student votes for president into the state’s two Congressional districts. Polls released over the weekend showed a tight contest between Obama and Romney in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, boosting Republican hopes that Romney could win one of Maine’s four electoral votes.

In the Senate race, 44 percent of students chose King while 25 percent opted for Republican Charlie Summers, Maine’s Secretary of State, and 20 percent chose Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Dill. Polls released over the weekend also showed King with comfortable leads, though the surveys showed higher levels of support for Summers and lower levels for Dill.

Some 4.2 percent of students cast their votes for independent Steve Woods, who had dropped out Saturday and endorsed King. Independents Andrew Ian Dodge and Danny Dalton attracted 4.1 and 3.5 percent of the student vote, respectively.

Student voters chose the incumbents by comfortable margins in both of the state’s Congressional districts. In the 1st District, Pingree attracted 63 percent of the vote while Republican challenger Jon Courtney pulled in 36 percent. The 2nd District vote was closer, with Michaud leading Republican Kevin Raye 58-41.

On Question 1, the ballot measure that would legalize same-sex marriage, students voted by a wide margin to pass the measure. More than two-thirds of students, 68 percent, voted “yes,” compared to 32 percent who voted no. Three polls released over the weekend put support for Question 1 at between 51 and 55 percent.

Students also approved Question 2-5 by wide margins. Those bond issues would authorize the state to borrow $76 million combined for infrastructure, higher education and conservation projects.

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