AUGUSTA, Maine – Another poll suggests Maine is poised for tight elections later this year, with Democrats maintaining slight edges in key races that could come down to undecided voters heavily concerned with rising costs.
The poll released on Friday by Pan-Atlantic research surveyed 824 likely voters in Maine between April 21 and May 5. The statewide margin of error was 3.4 percent.
Similar to a poll from Digital Research Insights earlier this spring, the survey found a tight race between Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, and former Gov. Paul LePage, the Republican challenging her. Mills held a 4-point lead over LePage in head-to-head polling, although 7 percent of voters said they would vote for another candidate and 4 percent were undecided. It is not clear whether any independent candidates will make the ballot this year.
Mills led LePage among independent voters and had majority support in the liberal 1st Congressional District, while LePage had a narrower lead among voters in the purple 2nd District.
Polling from the 2nd District also showed Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, with a lead over likely challenger Bruce Poliquin, a Republican who previously held the seat for two terms. Just over 45 percent of voters said they would vote for Golden compared 36.4 percent for Poliquin, although 18 percent of voters said they would vote for another candidate or were undecided.
The general election in the district will also use ranked-choice voting if there are any independent candidates. Former candidate Tiffany Bond, who came in third in the 2018 election, is looking to make the ballot again this year. Poliquin must get through a primary against Caratunk selectman Liz Caruso, who was not included in the poll.
The poll found President Joe Biden remained unpopular in Maine, with 42.4 percent of voters describing their views of him as “strongly unfavorable” and 11.2 percent as “somewhat unfavorable.” Those figures are generally in line with recent national polling on the Democratic president’s approval rating.
Maine politicians, including Democrats, all remained more popular than Biden here. Mills, Golden and Rep. Chellie Pingree all maintained positive favorability ratings, the poll found, as did Sens. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and Susan Collins, a Republican.
Poll respondents most frequently named cost of living, inflation and taxes as the most important issues facing Maine. But 46.5 percent said they thought the state was generally on the right track, compared to 38.6 percent on the wrong track and 15 percent unsure.