When Ed Koch was mayor of New York, he used to walk around the city asking constituents: “How’m I doin’?” We haven’t heard Gov. LePage ask that question in Maine, but we’ve decided to answer it anyway.

According to a poll commissioned by MaineToday Media, LePage is getting mixed reviews from Mainers but a majority of those polled, 56 percent, said they had an unfavorable opinion of the governor. Asked to rate LePage’s job performance, about 55 percent answered “poor” or “very poor.”

Given those basic numbers — detailed poll results are published in today’s paper — the most likely answer to the question, “How’s the governor doin’?” seems to be: “Not so good.”

When more than half the people who look to the governor for leadership don’t like what they see, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that he’s doing something wrong.

The best indication of what that something might be can be found in two of the poll’s findings. Asked whether LePage has moved the state forward, backward or kept it in the same place, nearly 40 percent of respondents said we’ve gone backward. Asked if the national media attention the governor has drawn to himself and the state has been good or bad for Maine, almost 70 percent said the attention has been bad.

Taking us in the wrong direction and making us look awful in the process? Double trouble.

The poll did offer some consolation for the governor. About 76 percent of respondents who said they voted for LePage last November said they would vote for him again if “today were Election Day.”

LePage might be tempted to read that as a vote of confidence, as affirmation he is doing what the folks who put him in office wanted him to do. We’re not so sure.

Our guess is, voters are saying that it’s too early to declare LePage a failure — that they are willing to give him more time to find his way, to learn the job, to move Maine forward. He is, after all, only four months into a four-year term.

But we would also guess that voters’ patience is wearing thin. If he’s smart, and we think he is, LePage will pay attention to these poll results. He will objectively critique his own performance and face up to his failures. If he doesn’t, future polls may deliver far worse news than this one.


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