Monday April 02, 2012 | 10:48 AM

A pair of environmental groups say a poll they commissioned shows that Maine voters will back a U.S. Senate candidate this fall who favors reducing carbon pollution and stronger protections against dangerous chemicals.

The poll of 841 likely Maine voters commissioned by the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund and Environment Maine didn't ask about specific candidates, though it did ask about approval ratings for President Obama and Gov. Paul LePage. Democrat Obama had a 49 percent approval rating, while Republican LePage's approval rating was 36 percent, the poll found.

The automated telephone poll was conducted between March 27-28. Forty-one percent of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 32 percent as Republicans and 27 percent as independents or other political views.

One of the poll questions was: “Some say that the US EPA should do more to hold corporate polluters accountable and protect the air we breathe and the water we drink from pollution, while others say the EPA is doing too much, which threatens jobs and costs too much money. Would you say it is very important, somewhat important, or not important for Maine's new Senator to support the EPA?”

Fifty-four percent responded that it was “very important,” while 29 percent said it was “somewhat important.”

"This poll shows that residents of Maine will back a candidate who believes in protecting our health and our environment," said Heather, Taylor-Miesle, director of the NRDC Action Fund, the political arm of the non-profit NRDC. 


The complete poll can be found here. It was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a national Democratic firm based in North Carolina.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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