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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.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.
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.
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: