Republican Paul LePage holds a strong lead in the race to be Maine’s next governor, while Democrat Libby Mitchell and independent Eliot Cutler are now statistically even in second place, according to independent poll results released today.

Democratic incumbent Chellie Pingree and Republican Dean Scontras, meanwhile, are in a statistical dead heat in their race for the 1st District congressional seat, according to the poll.

Critical Insights, a Portland-based research firm, conducted its Fall 2010 Tracking Survey of Maine residents last week. The poll is based on 600 telephone interviews with Maine voters between Oct. 13 and Oct. 17.

When asked who they would vote for if the election were held the following day, 32 percent said LePage, 20 percent said Mitchell and 19 percent said Cutler.
The poll effectively means Mitchell and Cutler were tied because the margin of error is 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. That means that if the poll were repeated 100 times, in 95 cases the results would be within 4 percentage points of those reported.

When voters in Maine’s first congressional district were asked who they would vote for, 45 percent said Pingree and 40 percent said Scontras. Because of the smaller sample size, the margin of error for that question is 5.7 percent.

In Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Democratic Incumbent Michael Michaud holds a clear lead over Republican Jason Levesque, 49 percent to 30 percent. The margin of error is 5.7 percent.

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