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Maine People's Resource Center (pdf). 3/31-4/2. "Registered Maine voters in likely voter households." MoE: ±3.1% (no trendlines):

Matt Dunlap (D): 12
Charlie Summers (R): 22
Angus King (I): 56
Undecided: 10
Cynthia Dill (D): 20
Matt Dunlap (D): 17
John Hinck (D): 6
Benjamin Pollard (D): 2
Undecided: 55

Charlie Summers (R): 28
Bruce Poliquin (R): 12
Rick Bennett (R): 7
Debra Plowman (R): 6
Scott D'Amboise (R): 4
William Schneider (R): 4
Undecided: 40

We've gotten our first poll of the Maine Senate race since the filing deadline passed and the candidates have sorted themselves out. It's also only the second poll since Olympia Snowe's unexpected retirement announcement; PPP got into the field quickly, but that was before broadly-popular independent ex-Gov. Angus King bigfooted his way into the race. Most of their permutations tested out Democratic heavyweights like Rep. Chellie Pingree and ex-Gov. John Baldacci; their most useful finding was their one permutation involving a King three-way, which found King at 36, Pingree at 31, and Republican SoS Charlie Summers at 28. Today's poll, though, is the first to try out a three-way race with one of the second-tier Democrats who actually got in. Unsurprisingly, given his generally left-of-center positioning, King vacuums up most of those Democratic votes that went to Pingree in PPP's sample, pushing him well north of 50 percent here.

The poll is from a pollster we haven't seen before, the Maine People's Resource Center, described by the Bangor Daily News as "affiliated with the Maine People’s Alliance, a progressive statewide advocacy group," and, in their own words (from their polling memo) "a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to giving people, especially those groups that are under-represented in civic life, skills and information to participate in the decision-making processes that affect them." If that description strikes you as one of a partisan pollster, then you might take the poll with a grain of salt, but as you can see from King's mighty toplines, if they're shilling for the Democrats, they're doing a pretty poor job of it!

One other consideration is that their sample breaks 39 Democratic, 29 GOP, 31 unenrolled. Actual state registration figures (pdf), as of February, are 32 Democratic, 28 GOP, 37 unenrolled, so the sample may overweight Democrats at the expense of indies ... but again, that doesn't seem to matter one bit as far as King's dominant performance goes. In fact, King performs nearly as strongly among Democrats as among indies; he gets 61 percent of Democrats (with 24 percent of Democrats going for Dunlap) compared with 67 percent of indies (who also break 11 percent for Dunlap and 16 percent for Summers). King loses among GOPers, but even there he gets 38 percent to Summers' 52 percent.

Their general election poll only ran one permutation, apparently assuming that Matt Dunlap, the state's former secretary of state (which isn't a statewide elected position in Maine), would be the Democratic nominee. However, Dunlap's in second place in the Democratic primary, behind state Sen. Cynthia Dill, who seemed to stake out a more aggressive position early and has been one of the few people interested in publicly calling out King on the actual impracticalities of his post-partisan rhetoric. (Undecideds are so high on the Democratic side, though, that there's no point in drawing conclusions yet.) Current SoS Charlie Summers is in a somewhat more dominant position on the GOP side, but is only a slightly larger speed bump for King in the general than Dunlap is.

Chellie Pingree (D): 61
Jon Courtney (R): 28
Undecided: 11
Mike Michaud (D): 53
Kevin Raye (R): 37
Undecided: 10
As an added bonus, we get our first polling looks at Maine's two Congressional races, where Pingree and Michaud decided they were better off staying rather than fighting for Democratic votes with King. Courtney and Raye are no slouches—far from being of the "Some Dude" variety, they're Maine's state Senate majority leader and state Senate president respectively—but they don't seem to be getting much of any traction here, suggesting that Maine's pro-Republican shift in 2010 (they elected a GOP governor, Paul LePage, and turned control of the legislature over to Republicans) was a one-time event rather than the start of a trend. (More evidence for that: LePage's approvals are only 39/56.) Michaud's race is somewhat closer, given that ME-02 is a swingy/light-blue district while ME-01 is solidly blue, but even he looks out of danger.

Speaking of the Congressional districts, Maine is one of the few states that allocates electoral votes based on CD, and it looks like Barack Obama can still count on all of Maine's EVs. In the poll's presidential portion, he's up 48-41 over Mitt Romney in ME-02, as well as 61-33 in ME-01 and 55-37 statewide.

Finally, while the poll doesn't specifically address how people plan to vote on the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum re-do, people's general feelings about the matter make it look likely that same-sex marriage will make its legal return to Maine. Fifty-eight percent favor allowing same-sex couples to marry in Maine, while 40 percent oppose. (H/t to ndrwmls10 for finding the poll before anyone else did.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 11:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Besides (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, TofG, ArkDem14

    being strongly for renewable energy does anyone know what positions King has?

    I know he supported Obama & Kerry but he also supported Bush in 2000 so he seems to be all over the place a little.

    •  I can list some: (11+ / 0-)

      He is pro-choice, opposes free trade pacts, supports the ACA, supports ending most of the Bush tax cuts, and called the Citizens United vs. FEC decision the worst of the century.

      "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

      by KingofSpades on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:17:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Any (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, EJP in Maine, TofG, kman23

        reason for him to caucus with the GOP?

        •  None that I see. (9+ / 0-)

          They wouldn't want him anyway.  And if he caucuses with neither party, he is ineligible for seniority and committee assignments.

          "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

          by KingofSpades on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:20:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Only if they are the majority party (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          EJP in Maine, MichaelNY, ArkDem14

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:20:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I doubt he would even then. (8+ / 0-)

            I don't buy his BS on this.  He's far to the left of any Republican.  Also, they're the only party currently attacking him in the Senate race.

            "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

            by KingofSpades on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:24:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why wouldn't he? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, ArkDem14

              I can't see any reason for a moderate-ish independent to not caucus with the majority party.  

              I expect it is 100% certain he will caucus with the majority (if they let him of course).  And he's said as much, he'll do what is best for Maine (translation: best for him).  He wants some clout, a subcommitte chairmanship, etc.  Caucusing with the minority party would be stupid, especially for a guy likely to serve two terms at most with no Prez ambitons.

              Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

              by tommypaine on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:29:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He didn't say with absolution (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, ArkDem14

                who would be in the majority as being the deciding factor and said that the ME GOP attacking him is not helping their case with him (therefore making it much less likely he even considers caucusing with them).  Also, he was a Democrat so it's only natural for him to side with whom he is more comfortable.  He is moderate as you say, but moderately liberal.  Caucusing with the Republicans would mean having to take 180 degree shifts on almost all of his views or fear punishment from the caucus.

                "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

                by KingofSpades on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:36:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I just said it was the only reason to (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KingofSpades, MichaelNY

                  And I assume he would make zero 180 degree shifts.  That won't happen.  And they won't punish him either.  All they can do is expel him.  There is no way anybody is telling this guy how to vote.

                  The bottom line is it is extremely unlikely that he will caucus with the Republicans, mostly because of his own views, partly because it is likely Dems will be in the majority, and partly because if the Reps are in the majority they won't put up with King's ways.

                  The caucus thing is much ado about nothing.  he'll caucus with the Dems if they are the majority or if he can make them the majority.  It matters little who he caucuses with if the Reps have a majority on their own, as long as he votes how he wats, which seems a dead cinch with this guy.

                  Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                  by tommypaine on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:03:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They can punish him other than expulsion. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY

                    they can give him the shittiest committee assignments (if any at all).  Remember how Democrats stripped Jim Traficant of his seniority and committee assignments for voting for Hastert for Speaker?  A caucus can punish its members for significant apostasies.

                    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

                    by KingofSpades on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:07:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  But that's the point (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY

                      He won't caucus with them if they do that.

                      Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                      by tommypaine on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:12:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Angus is not even on the ballot yet (5+ / 0-)

                        I know that it looks like Angus King has already won the election, but he hasn't even turned in the 4,000 signatures to qualify yet.

                        This poll was really about name recognition, and since King was governor for 8 years, he has a lot. But he has also been out of office for ten years - those people that remember his name may have lost track of how he did as governor.

                        King does have ten challengers - four Democrats and six Republicans. There are already things of note:

                        Just three days after King announced that he was running for the Maine Senate seat, the NRSC ran a negative ad against him;

                        King's record as governor is beginning to be scrutinized - something that has not actually happened in any thorough way since he left office (as odd as that may seem);

                        None of the candidates have any real visible campaign. This poll is really about name recognition not actual candidate support. King, having been governor for 8 years, has that in spades. Matt Dunlap should have performed better, seeing as he is a former Sec of State.

                        On the Republican side, Summers ran against and lost to Rep. Chellie Pingree in 2008; while State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin has done everything possible to get his mug out front.

                        Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

                        by Spud1 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 08:35:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  I can see a lot of reasons why he wouldn't (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, EJP in Maine

                Namely, that the "majority party" is not that strong in Maine. Yes, the House, Senate, and Governor's mansion are controlled by Republicans, but that more reflects horrendous Democratic disorganization in the last election that it does cohesion on the part of Republicans. The current GOP administration led by Paul LePage is disorganized and embarrassingly dysfunctional, and the focus on cutting taxes for wealthy business owners when schools and seniors aren't getting what they need has not gone unnoticed (or unprotested). The recent flap over MaineCare is just the tip of the iceberg. Don't forget, more people in this state voted for a candidate OTHER than LePage in the last gubernatorial election, and many of those who were in his camp then are unhappy with what they've gotten from him since then. So, yeah... identifying himself with the Maine GOP would not necessarily be King's smartest move right now.

            •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KingofSpades, MichaelNY, ArkDem14

              the Republicans are already attacking him on his previous alternative energy work.  Many Republicans thought Olympia was too liberal (I wish!). Maybe at one time, King had more in common with the so-called moderates in the party, but not with the hard core right wing positions they are espousing now.  

              ...do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly...

              by EJP in Maine on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:57:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Even if King is self-interested (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HoosierD42, MichaelNY, ArkDem14

            Caucusing with the Republicans isn't the best solution. Committees and seniority are long term investments, not things you can cash in that much right away. Let's say King goes Republican in 2013 and spends 4 years storing up good favor with his new caucus. All of a sudden it's 2017 and Dems have likely retaken the majority. Oh wait! And then he has to run in 2018 as a full-blown independent-Republican/former Democrat.

            It's possible that King isn't thinking that long term, but if so, then why would he caucus with the Republicans? If you're only interested in the short term than better to just vote your conscience, right?

            "Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labeled Utopian."

            by xcave on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:44:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  In favor of the auto bailout too. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Byblis, MichaelNY, ArkDem14
      •  For more... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, MichaelNY, skibum59

        See here:

        While King is staying mum on that matter, a look at his views on key policies shows he might be more aligned with the centrist wing of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

        He supports rolling back the Bush-era tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year, but he doesn’t know if he’d back raising taxes on capital gains and dividends. He believes there should be caps on carbon dioxide emissions but thinks environmental rules hurting the economy should be loosened. He worries that repealing subsidies for oil companies could drive up the price of gasoline but is skeptical about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

        He supports President Barack Obama’s health care law and told a voter at a bookstore here in Brunswick that it would be “terrible” if the law were struck down by the Supreme Court. And he believes the Supreme Court made the worst decision in “100 years” in loosening campaign finance laws in the Citizens United case.
        While he thinks higher tax revenues are needed to reduce the deficit, he believes automatic spending cuts hitting defense programs in January need to be overhauled.

        He doesn’t know if it’s time to bring back troops from Afghanistan, but questioned whether the war was initially worth it. And he thinks Republicans are advancing an “absolutely terrible” idea to turn Medicare into a quasi-private insurance program through the House budget plan.

        King plans to vote for Obama in the fall, as he did in 2008, but he supported George W. Bush in 2000. As governor, King surrounded himself with advisers from both parties — and he now boasts that 80 percent of the bills he vetoed were sponsored by Democrats, including some backed by labor unions like an increase in the minimum wage.

        26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

        by Xenocrypt on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:22:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  also supports marriage equality (6+ / 0-)

      as governor he was a strong advocate of gay rights.

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:25:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Big supporter of Creative Economy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, ArkDem14, parsonsbeach

      Provided capital for some creative economy start-ups in ME in the mid-2000s.

      Magical ability to pull voters from both sides of the aisle with his "(I)" -- note large numbers of deliberately unenrolled Maine voters; the fact that he's making noise about being nonpartisan is going to persuade a lot of common sense but apolitical types sick to death of hyperpartisan gridlock. I think his presence will give a lot of moderate Republicans an "out" -- having a viable yet non-Democrat option on the ballot. Sort of the mirror image of all those anti-Carter Dems glomming onto Anderson during the 1980 Presidential race.

      Politicians who can speak to voters on both sides of the aisle and vote based on principals (vs. the strict party line thing), have long been favored in these parts. I know lots of Democrats that admire the heck out of Republican Margaret Chase Smith for that reason, and it kept Snowe in office for a lot longer than she deserved once she started toeing the GOP line.

      King also has both near-universal name recognition here and a few appealing quirks...I know a lot of low-info, not-interested-in-politics types who think it's cool that he used to ride a motorcycle, and did this after leaving office, instead of accepting a high-paying lobbying job (from teh Wiki):

      The day after he left office in 2003, King, his wife, Mary Herman, and their two children – Ben, 14, and Molly, 10 – hit the road in a 40-foot motorhome to see America. Over the next six months, the family traveled 15,000 miles and visited 34 states before returning home in June 2003.

      "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

      by Vacationland on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:00:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  2008 turnout: 35D-26R-39I (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Jarman, TomP, MichaelNY, ArkDem14

    So while there may be reason to say the sample is too Dem, a case can be made that it is too R also.

    Basically they added 4 points to the 2008 Dem turnout, and 3 points to the Rep turnout, at the expense of the indies.

    No track record pollster so there is no reason to think this is an accurate poll, but considering the sample versus both 2008 turnout and registration, the most likely way the poll is off is that King is even further ahead than the poll says.

    Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

    by tommypaine on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:24:45 PM PDT

  •  Great news from the great state o' Maine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, MichaelNY, ArkDem14

    Especially the Raye/Michaud #s. Only question is, will Raye go dirty on Mike during the election.

     I worry a lot about this seat. Mike is no ball of fire, but he's pretty dependable and a very nice guy. Goes without saying, better than Mean Mr. Mustard !

    “Good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who agitate!” Julian Bond

    by Dvalkure on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:54:59 PM PDT

  •  By the way, David (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, skibum59, David Nir

    since nobody else has mentioned it: I love your title!  It may not be Panic! At Tedisco, but it might be Top 10 or 15.

    19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at politicohen.com

    by jncca on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:16:14 PM PDT

  •  Angus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    How, I wonder, will Angus create Nirvana-on-the-Potomac? What does he bring to the table, as a Freshman without a party, that would be more persuasive than President Obama, or Olympia Snowe?

    With what enticement will he persuade any Republican to move toward the Democratic position on anything, knowing that the Republican answer to any Democratic position is:
    A. No
    B. Hell, no
    C. You gotta be kidding me, you KNOW they will primary my ass if I am even caught TALKING to you!

    Seriously, lacking a literal gun to their heads, what Republican will move towards a Democratic position? And if Angus thought he could do a better job than Olympia, why didn't he challenge why she was still in the race?

    Lastly, does the Senate really need another millionaire? Seriously?

    •  let's be real (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY
      Lastly, does the Senate really need another millionaire? Seriously?
      I live in NY. This question seems kind of quaint to me.  

      "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

      by onemadson on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  King has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, EJP in Maine, parsonsbeach

    huge name recognition, so that people who may not even be sure who's currently in public office are likely to know his name, I think. Not least because he hosted a public TV show for some years , so he's been in a lot of living rooms, all cozy and friendly-like.

    As I recall, however, he lives closer to Midcoast than the southern side of Mount Desert Island, so a more appropriate lighthouse than Bass Harbor might be the one at Pemaquid Point. Prettier, too, IMHO.

    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 08:06:14 PM PDT

  •  Long-time observer of Maine politics (6+ / 0-)

    Al Diamon has this take on Angus King:

    King, the former independent governor from 1995-2003, says he isn’t a liberal or a conservative. He’s always claimed he favors a pragmatic mix of political philosophies that results in him standing in the ideological center, leaning left on social issues, bearing right on fiscal matters. Or sometimes, the other way around.

    He says that means he supports the same things most people in this state do. What could be better than that?

    Except he doesn’t. And, come to think of it, neither do they.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 08:40:15 PM PDT

  •  The 2010 Great White Anti-Obama Backlash that (0+ / 0-)

    propelled the RepubliKlans into power - from coast-to coast and from border-to-border, has resulted in White Americans (finally!) understanding that the 1% looks upon them as nothing more than a gaggle of serfs (if not a klan of wi&&ers) to be used and abused for the benefit of the plantation owners.

    Knowing what they know now (finally!), if the 2010 mid-terms were held today, White Americans would vote like Kossacks... er, I mean, vote like Black Americans.... Whatever! At least they wouldn't vote against their own best interest mistakenly thinking that they were only going to hurt the Black guy in the White House.

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:37:49 AM PDT

  •  Cynthia Dill looks like an excellent candidate (0+ / 0-)

    and even if King caucuses with Dems, which he will, I'd prefer a strong progressive who won't constantly be tempted to uphold an "independent" persona.

    •  Dill has trouble (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Dill would have a very hard time in the campaign. When she was running for the state legislature, she used campaign funds from the public (there is public financing in Maine) to pay herself to write a campaign blog.

      Also she strongly supports a national park in northern Maine, which is popular where she lives but very unpopular in northern Maine.

      I can't imagine she'd be able to win.

  •  Is King a Democrat? (0+ / 0-)

    Not being a Maineac, I'm not familiar with Angus King.  I assume he's a Democrat but I wouldn't know it from reading this diary.

    •  His policies are very much in line with a Democrat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, HoosierD42

      He was a Democrat until the early '90's until he became Independent to run for Governor and owe no fealty to any party organization.  He stayed an Independent ever since, but his policy positions put him a little left of center.

      "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

      by KingofSpades on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:30:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, you would know it actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, HoosierD42

      since the diary lists him as Angus King (I) - i.e. Independent.

      22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:52:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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