September 29, 2010

Poll: Mitchell, LePage in dead heat in governor's race

By Matt Wickenheiser mwickenheiser@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

Democrat Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell and Republican Paul LePage are in a statistical dead heat in the Maine governor's race, according to a poll released today.

click image to enlarge

Republican Paul LePage, left, speaks as fellow gubernatorial candidates, from left to right, independent Shawn Moody, Democrat Libby Mitchell, independent Eliot Cutler and independent Kevin Scott listen during Saturday night’s debate at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Read the latest results online of The Maine Poll for the governors race.

The Maine Poll, conducted for MaineToday Media by Critical Insights, had 30 percent of likely voters supporting Mitchell, compared to LePage at 29 percent. This represents a significant change in a race where LePage has consistently led polls by 12 or more percentage points. In Critical Insights’ last poll, released Sept. 19, LePage had 38 percent voter support and Mitchell had 25 percent.

The  405 registered voters, all of whom said they were likely to vote in November, were surveyed on Monday. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. That means that if the poll were repeated 100 times, in 95 cases the results would be within 4 percentage points of those reported.

Both polls are part of a four-part series of public polling being sponsored by MaineToday Media.

The percentage of voters who said they were undecided also increased; 26 percent in today's poll said they didn't know who they'd vote for, compared to 21 percent undecided in the earlier poll.

Today’s poll had some movement among the race’s three unenrolled candidates for governor, as well. The poll had Eliot Cutler with 9 percent of voter support, down from 11 percent. Shawn Moody moved up to 5 percent from 4 percent. And Kevin Scott was at 0 percent, down from 1 percent.

In the race for Maine’s 1st Congressional District, voters supported Democrat Chellie Pingree over Republican challenger Dean Scontras, 54 percent to 26 percent. Pingree’s support had been 53 percent, compared to Scontras’ 29 percent in the past poll. The undecided pool in that race shifted only a little, from 18 percent in the last poll to 19 percent.

And in the 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Mike Michaud’s support slipped from 48 percent to 44 percent, compared to Republican Challenger Jason Levesque’s increase from 28 percent to 32 percent. The undecided pool stayed unchanged at 24 percent.

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