A new poll shows Democrats leading Republicans in Maine in elections for president, U.S. Senate and for the 2nd Congressional District House seat.

The poll, released Friday by the New York Times and Siena College Research Institute, has Democrat Sara Gideon leading Republican Sen. Susan Collins by a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent.

Numerous polls have shown Gideon with a slight lead over Collins. This week, a Quinnipiac University survey gave Gideon, Maine’s House speaker, a 12-point advantage, although the poll failed to account for ranked-choice voting or the race’s two independent candidates.

The Times/Siena College poll released Friday did include the two independents in the Senate race, Lisa Savage and Max Linn, and accounted for ranked-choice voting, which gives voters the option of ranking candidates on the ballot in their order of preference.

Collins was polling at 40 percent, Gideon at 44 percent, Savage at 4.5 percent and Linn at 2 percent prior to the application of ranked choice.

After ranked-choice voting eliminated the two independents, the poll had Gideon with a 5-point lead on Collins. The ranked-choice process would only come into play if no candidate gets 50 percent or more of the vote when ballots are first tabulated.


In the presidential race, the poll shows Democrat Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by 55 percent to 38 percent in Maine, with 6 percent undecided and 1 percent indicating they would not be voting for president.

The poll also asked voters about the 2nd District race, where Democrat Rep. Jared Golden is facing Republican Dale Crafts. The findings showed Golden up 56 percent to 37 percent, with 6 percent undecided.

The poll surveyed 663 likely Maine voters between Sept. 11 and 16 and had a margin of error of 5.1 percentage points.

In addition to Maine, the Times and Siena College surveyed voters in Arizona and North Carolina over roughly the same time period and released those results Friday as well. All three states are seen as having key Senate races this election cycle, and in each state the poll showed Democratic candidates leading by five points or more.

The poll also asked voters how they think Trump has performed as president and whether Trump or Biden would do a better job of addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

In Maine, 29 percent of voters strongly approved of Trump’s handling his job as president, 10 percent somewhat approved, 7 percent somewhat disapproved and 53 strongly disapproved. One percent refused to answer or didn’t know.

On the handling of the virus, Biden led Trump 60 percent to 35 percent with 5 percent refusing to answer or saying they didn’t know.

Maine voters also said they disapproved of Collins’ vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, by a margin of 55 percent to 38 percent, and disapproved of her vote against impeaching Trump by a margin of 55 percent to 43 percent. On Collins’ 2017 vote against the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Maine voters approved by a margin of 50 percent to 39 percent.

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