October 29, 2010

Poll results favor LePage, Pingree, Michaud, casino

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The latest Maine Poll shows Republican Paul LePage with a slight lead in the race for governor and Democratic incumbents Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Mike Michaud with significant leads – although not quite as large as last month for Pingree – in their re-election bids to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage, center, greets supporters during a health care rally in front of Central Maine Medical Center hospital in Lewiston today. LePage said he attended the rally to draw attention to the state's debt to hospitals for payments for Medicaid services.


Related headlines

The Maine Poll

Read the latest Maine Poll on the governor's race

Read the latest Maine Poll on the races in Congressional Districts One and Two

Read the latest Maine Poll on Question One to allow a casino in Oxford County


The Maine Poll, conducted for Maine Today Media by the Portland polling and research firm Critical Insights, sampled 605 likely voters throughout Maine on Oct. 10 and 11.

It has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Thus, if the research were conducted 100 times, data would fall within a range of plus or minus 4 percentage points to the results presented today.

Live interviews were conducted by telephone using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing system from Critical Insights Portland offices and from those of a strategic partner out of state.

Callers use random-digit dialing to landlines only. While an increasing number of people are using only cell phones, The American Association of Public Opinion Research says there is little evidence to date that surveys based solely on landlines are suffering from significant bias.

To be included in the survey, respondents were required to be a registered voter in Maine, have voted in the most recent presidential election of November 2008 (if eligible at the time), and claim they are likely to vote in the upcoming November election.

The Maine Poll questionnaire was developed by editors of Maine Today Media working in collaboration with Critical Insights.

Survey results are weighted to reflect the gender, age and geographic distribution of Maine voters.

Readers should note that polls are not predictors of outcomes. Rather, they are intended to capture opinions held at the point in time when a poll is conducted.


Including voters who may be undecided but are leaning toward a particular gubernatorial candidate, a statewide telephone poll of 605 likely voters sampled Sunday and Monday showed 34 percent prefer LePage. Democrat Elizabeth "Libby" Mitchell received support from 29 percent of respondents with independents Eliot Cutler (13), Shawn Moody (6) and Kevin Scott (1). Eighteen percent remain undecided.

The sampling error is plus or minus 4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

A similar poll two weeks earlier that didn't tabulate voters leaning toward a particular candidate showed Mitchell (30) and LePage (29) in a statistical dead heat with Cutler at 11 percent. The undecided contingent was 26 percent.

In the Congressional races, Republican Dean Scontras of Eliot made up some ground on Pingree in Maine's 1st District, rising above 30 percent for the first time to 33. Meanwhile, support for Pingree fell below 50 percent, to 48, with one in five likely voters remaining undecided.

In the 2nd District, Michaud held a 43-30 advantage over Republican challenger Jason Levesque, a gap largely unchanged from a poll two weeks earlier.

Voters also indicated support for Question 1, which would allow a group of investors to build a casino in Oxford County. Fifty three percent indicated they would vote for the casino, 43 percent against and four are undecided.

Another poll released Wednesday, by Rasmussen Reports, shows LePage leading Mitchell, 35-32, with Cutler jumping up to 21 percent. The automated poll did not ask respondents about Moody or Scott and reported only six percent of voters undecided.

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