With only three days left before Election Day, a majority of Maine voters continue to favor allowing a casino in Oxford County, according to The Maine Poll.

The poll, conducted Wednesday and Thursday and released Friday, shows that 52 percent of likely voters support Question 1, which would allow a group of investors to build a casino in Oxford County. The poll found that 43 percent of voters oppose the measure.

The results show little movement from an Oct. 13 Maine poll, which found that 53 percent of likely voters support Question 1 and 46 percent oppose it.

There are relatively few people who have not already made up their minds on the issue. Both polls found that only 4 percent of voters are undecided.

The polls were done for MaineToday Media by Critical Insights Inc. of Portland. The firm also conducts polling for a group that supports the casino question on Maine’s Nov. 2 ballot.

The poll sampled 621 registered likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The facility would be Maine’s first casino with table games.

The political action committee that is pushing the casino, Maine Taxpayers Taking Charge, has spent about $3 million on its campaign. Opponents have spent about $500,000.

Dennis Bailey of Casinos No! said he is heartened that the race remains close despite the expensive television advertising campaign being waged by the investment group backing the casino. He said casino opponents in Maine have always been behind in the polls on Election Day and have won every election.

Because efforts to legalize casino gambling keep coming up year after year, he said, most Maine voters have made up their minds on the issue.

At this point, there is not much that the campaigns can do to convince people to vote one way or the other, he said.

Rather, the key to victory for both sides will be getting their supporters to the polls on Tuesday.

“It all comes down to turnout,” he said.

Robert Lally Jr., treasurer of Maine Taxpayers Taking Charge, said it’s a tight race.

“We think it’s going to be close,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to get the facts out on the Yes on 1 campaign.”

Black Bear Entertainment, the company behind the casino proposal, is backed by several Maine investors who are contributing heavily to the campaign.

They include Lally, co-owner of the Mount Abram ski resort, Rupert Grover, who founded Grover Gundrilling Inc. in Norway, Stephen Barber, former president of Barber Foods in Portland, Jim Boldebook, founder of Creative Broadcast Concepts in Biddeford, and Gary and Robert Bahre, former owners of Oxford Plains Speedway.

 

Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at [email protected]