Maine Congressional Districts

Source: 2011 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates

October 2, 2012

Politically, poll reveals differences in Maine districts

The liberal south and coast vs. the more conservative north is a divide that could again be key in the election.

By John Richardson
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram poll was conducted by Critical Insights, a Portland-based opinion research firm.

It follows a similar poll conducted in June and was designed to measure trends in opinions and voter sentiments and track the rise and fall of candidates and campaigns. In both cases, the polls produced more than 100 pages of data tables which the Press Herald analyzed to produce articles, print and online graphics and to guide coverage of the elections.

For the latest poll, Critical Insights called 618 likely voters around the state from Sept. 12 through Sept. 16. It used random landlines and cellphones and conducted live personal interviews. An additional 100 women were polled to provide deeper data on women's perspectives on key issues.

The results were statistically weighted to reflect the demographics of the state's voting population. Results were weighted by gender, age, region of residence and political affiliation.

The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points for results based on the entire sample, with larger margins for subgroups such as independent voters or older voters.


SUNDAY: Key poll results in the election for president, the U.S. Senate, Congress and the same-sex marriage referendum.

MONDAY: The same-sex marriage poll results and returns from the 2009 repeal referendum suggest where the battlegrounds lie across Maine.

TUESDAY: Sharp distinctions that reflect “the two Maines” concept emerge from poll results in the 1st and 2nd congressional districts.

Maine's Congressional Districts

Click on the map to see the latest income, poverty and education data for each of Maine's congressional districts.

Source: 2011 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates

Asked which of the two major political parties best serves their interests, 2nd District voters were nearly evenly split between the two parties. First District voters chose the Democratic Party by 50 percent to 30 percent.

The 2nd District also has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in the past five elections, although it has been closer each time than in the 1st District.

It is not that Democratic politicians can't win elections in the 2nd District, but Democrats tend to be more conservative in the 2nd District than in the first, said Palmer, the UMaine professor. "The differences are inside the parties, not between them," he said.

Republicans, however, are hoping the more conservative 2nd District will break away and vote for Romney in November.

Obama leads Romney by just 5 percentage points in the 2nd District, compared with 28 percentage points in the 1st District, according to the poll.

Winning the 2nd District would give Romney one of Maine's four electoral votes. It would be the first time in 184 years that Maine has split its electoral votes.

It also would focus a lot more attention on the state's growing social and political divide, experts said.

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:


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