A new poll released by supporters of Ethan Strimling shows the former state senator and current nonprofit director in a dead heat in a hypothetical two-way race for Portland mayor against incumbent Michael Brennan.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling and released by Baldacci Communications, which worked on Strimling’s unsuccessful 2011 campaign. Partial results provided to the media show Strimling had a slim 2-point lead over Brennan. That lead is within the poll’s 4.2 percent margin of error and represents a drop for Strimling, who has not announced a decision to run, from a similar poll conducted in April that showed him with an 8-point lead over Brennan.

“We were commissioned to run this poll by individuals who live and work in Portland who are frustrated with the direction the city is going under Mayor Brennan’s leadership,” said Stephanie Clifford, of Baldacci Communications.

Private, internal polling is considered less reliable than independent polling because sponsors tend to release results only when they favor their interests. It’s unclear what other questions – if any – people were asked.

Clifford would only say that other questions focused on Brennan’s vulnerability.

The recent poll of 556 likely voters (55 percent of whom were women) was conducted from July 17 to 21. It found Strimling leading Brennan, 38 percent to 36 percent, in the hypothetical two-way race.


More than a quarter of the people surveyed – between 26 and 29 percent depending on the question – were undecided in a variety of hypothetical matchups.

The poll also found that 52 percent of those surveyed are concerned about Portland’s future, while 46 percent believe the city is headed in the right direction.

The poll found that Brennan had a 47 percent to 25 percent edge over Councilor Edward Suslovic, who has announced his intention to run for mayor. The poll indicates the incumbent also leads Councilor Nicholas Mavodones 41 percent to 33 percent. Mavodones has not signaled whether he will run for mayor or campaign to keep his at-large council seat.

The poll results released Thursday did not include results for some of the people have taken out nomination papers to run for mayor. The five candidates gathering signatures to qualify for the ballot are Brennan, Suslovic, Portland Green Independent Committee Chairman Thomas MacMillan, firefighter Chris Vail and Zouhair Bouzrara.

Residents interested in running for mayor or for other city offices may pick up nomination papers at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall. Papers must be returned between Aug. 11 and Aug. 25 with at least 300 signatures from Portland voters in order to appear on the ballot.

In addition to the mayor’s seat, nomination papers are now available for City Council District 1 and District 2, and for one At-Large council seat. There are also open seats representing District 1 and District 2 on the School Bard and for one at-large school board seat; two 3-year term seats and one 1-year term seat on the Peaks Island Council; and one 5-year term seat for the Water District Trustee.


For all offices, the earliest that signatures can be turned in is August 11, and the deadline is August 25.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @randybillings

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