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PPP's poll shows that former governor, Angus King (I) still holds the lead in the three way Maine Senate race but his lead has shrunk.  King leads with 45% to Charlie Summers' 35% and Democrat Cynthia Dill's 14%.  PPP surveyed 804 likely Maine voters on September 17th and 18th:

PPP points out that King has seen a decline in his popularity:

King's popularity is not what it was at the beginning of the campaign. 52% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 35% with an unfavorable one. That +17 spread is down a net 21 points from March when he was at +38 with 62% of voters rating him positively and 24% holding a negative opinion. The drop in King's popularity has been across the board, but it's particularly acute with Republicans. He's gone from 43/38 with them to now 22/65. His declines with independents (from 69/20 to 57/30) and Democrats (from 74/14 to 69/19) have been more modest.
PPP points out that if King made it clear that he would caucus with Democrats, he can win back a good chunk of the Democratic vote:
It's reaching the point where King may need to more explicitly say he's going to organize as a Democrat if he wants to win this race. King is winning only 13% of the Republican vote at this point, but he's losing 26% of the Democratic vote to Dill.  Among those already voting for King 64% want him to caucus with the Democrats if he's elected to only 9% who want him to side with the Republicans and 27% who are undecided. So he has more to gain by bringing Democrats voting for Dill into the fold than he does to lose by antagonizing his small number of Republican leaning supporters.
Now PPP also points out that if King can maintain the 45%, he will win because neither Summers nor Dill's campaigns are really gaining that much traction:
If there's good news for King in this particular poll it's that neither of his opponents are exactly setting the world on fire. Summer has a 36/40 favorability rating and Dill's is 24/37. Those numbers would suggest neither of them has a particularly high ceiling so if King can hold onto 45% he'll probably win but his position looks a lot less comfortable than it did in polling earlier this summer.
PPP also has Obama crushing Romney in Maine, 55-39.  Maine voters overwhelmingly trust Obama on the economy and foreign policy over Romney.

The Maine Research Group released it's poll today and it has King up by 15 points.  King gets 43,8%, Republican Charlie Summers gets 28.2% and Democrat Cynthia Dill gets 14.9%.  The automated telephone poll surveyed 856 registered Maine voters in likely voter households from Sept. 15 through Sept. 17:

Their poll also shows King's popularity has shrunk as well and they go on to explain why:

The change appears to be the direct result of anti-King television ads that have been running statewide for several weeks. Outside groups hoping to win a Republican majority in the Senate have so far spent about $1.5 million on ads criticizing King's record as governor and his role as a wind farm developer.

One of the Republican-backed ads touts Dill as "a Democrat you can feel good about" in an effort to move Democratic voters from King to Dill.

King still has majority support among Democrats and unenrolled voters, according to the poll. Respondetns who said they support King included 54.1 percent of Democrats, 52.3 percemnt of independents and 23.4 percent of Republicans, it says.

It's clear that Republicans are trying to split Democratic votes to help give Summers a better shot.  I know King will caucus with the Democrats but it would be better for him to come out and say he will since the majority of Maine voters want him to caucus with the Democrats.  King has endorsed Obama's re-election campaign and endorsed Obama back in 2008.

Now I know King will win this seat but lets prevent another three way race disaster like the 2010 Florida Senate race.  Lets get King elected so he can caucus with the Democrats:

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Comment Preferences

  •  King should just declare (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xsonogall, RoIn, WisJohn

      I agree, King has been to cute, he should come out and say I am going to caucus with the democrats. he isn't going to get any republican votes and democrats will feel more comfortable voting for him. In fact if he does this I think Dill should just drop out and endorse King.

  •  Wasn't it due to a 3-way mess (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes, badger1968

    That Maine got that idiot of a governor?

    •  A good reason to support Approval Voting. (0+ / 0-)

      And for those who don't know what Approval Voting is, here is an explaination from

      What is Approval Voting?

      Approval Voting simply means that voters can vote for as many candidates as they choose... Approval Voting is more expressive than the typical way we vote — Plurality Voting. That's because Plurality Voting limits voter expression to only one candidate...

      How will Approval Voting affect spoiled ballots?

      Without a doubt, using Approval Voting will drastically decrease the number of spoiled ballots... If a voter approves anywhere between zero to all candidates (all combinations), then they've submitted a valid vote. To spoil an Approval ballot, a voter has to make the ballot unreadable — rather difficult. In fact, in the French and German studies referenced above, under 0.5% of voters managed to accomplish this folly (that's less than one in two hundred).

      Plurality Voting ballots are treated as spoiled whenever voters mark more than one candidate. The fact that voters do this tells us that they have more to say than Plurality Voting permits. Consequently, in the 2000 U.S. elections, nearly two million ballots were spoiled — almost 2%.

      Plurality Voting's spoilage rate of around one in fifty is almost four times more than Approval Voting. Had Approval Voting been used in 2000, not only would there have been no spoiler effect, but poll workers could have counted around one and a half million more voters' ballots.

      Does Approval Voting help major parties or minor parties?

      While this may sound impossible, we contend that Approval Voting is fairer to both major parties and minor parties. More importantly, Approval Voting is fairer to voters.

      Doesn't Approval Voting violate "one person one vote"?

      No. The term "one person one vote" refers to the weight of votes, not to how votes are expressed. And in Approval Voting, all ballots have the same weight.

      "Progress is possible. Don't give up on voting. Don't give up on advocacy. Don't give up on activism. There are too many needs to be met, too much work to be done." - Barack Obama

      by eaglekid85va on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:22:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Angus King has stated that he's aware of the (0+ / 0-)

      spoiler effect that Eliot Cutler had in 2010, and has stated that he would drop out if he "felt [he] was being a spoiler."

      You be the judge of how serious he is. I personally find that "independents" have bigger egoes than partisan candidates, particularly when they think they have an upper hand, but King is definitely left-of-center and seems to agree that it would be better if a Republican didn't win the seat.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - HHH

      by Zutroy on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 07:48:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's funny. Jesse Ventura supports Angus King (0+ / 0-)

    Yet Angus King would be caucusing with the Democrats.

  •  I'm a frustrated Maine Democrat (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting these poll results.  I was polled by PPP  and it was an in depth poll so it's good to see the results.

    Here's the thing:  Cynthia Dill is a great candidate-- she is a smart, articulate, unabashed Progressive who is also a small business owner.  She would be fantastic in the Senate where we need more women and more Progressives.  But Dems are terrified of the split vote and they are backing King.  The last thing I want is for Summers to win, but it really ticks me off that King won't declare who he will caucus with.  The "I'm going to be an independent voice in Washington and help bridge the bi-partisan divide" crap just makes me sick.  It also makes me wonder what his plan is-- is he going to caucus with the highest bidder?  Is he going to hold out for cushy committee assignments? Is he just trying to sucker the Republican voters? His arrogance bugs me, he's not great on labor issues, and he talks waaayyyy too much about the deficit.

    Plus he isn't the only independent running-- not that they have any chance of winning, but they muddy the water.  In the Governor's race much was made of Democrats splitting their votes, but the 3 other independents each took a few percent from Elliot Cutler and that cost him a victory.

    If Maine is going to have almost 30% registered Independents, then it is time for them to have their own primary so we can at least narrow this field to 3.

    So, like I said, I'm frustrated.

    •  Bear in mind that being an independent doesn't (0+ / 0-)

      entail being part of a specific party. Independents, as opposed to third party candidates, are willfully unaffiliated, so having a primary really wouldn't make any sense and is undemocratically biased toward the two major parties.

      Don't get me wrong, because I realize the importance of keeping the progressive vote from being diluted more than anybody. It's just that throwing up legal barriers is the wrong way to go and is reminiscent of Jim Crow.

      What really needs to be addressed is overall unity on the progressive side, and the egoes of independent candidates in general. There was a great cartoon on the front page a little while ago that explained that you're never really voting for one candidate, but a whole ideological network of people. The more people understand that diluting the vote leads to the wrong network infesting government, the less it will happen.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - HHH

      by Zutroy on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 07:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Correction; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kyle the Mainer
    King has said he won't caucus with either Party if he gains the Senate seat.
    No he didn't. He said he wouldn't decide who he caucused with until after the election. You literally have to caucus with somebody to be of any use for your state whatsoever in the Senate.

    Angus King knows how government works, and he knows damn well that he can't get away with not caucusing with any party. This is just foreplay to make him look bipartisan.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - HHH

    by Zutroy on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 07:41:43 PM PDT

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