Some very good news today out of Maine:
The latest poll of the U.S. Senate race in Maine, released Friday by Colby College, shows Democrat Sara Gideon maintaining a narrow lead over incumbent Republican Susan Collins.
It also suggests neither candidate has a clear advantage with ranked-choice voting.
In the presidential race, former Vice President Joe Biden held a commanding lead, with 50 percent of respondents said they planned to vote for him and 39 percent favoring President Donald Trump. That margin is similar to other public polls released this month.
In the survey of 847 likely voters conducted between Sept. 21-24, 45 percent of respondents said they planned to vote for Gideon while 41 percent favored Collins. Five percent said they supported Republican-turned-independent Max Linn, 3 percent picked Green Independent Lisa Savage and 6 percent were undecided. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.4 percent.
But the survey found a dramatic partisan gulf on the question of giving President Donald Trump's third nomination to the high court a vote in the Senate.
Ninety-two percent of Democrats said Collins should wait, and 60% of independents agreed, but among Republicans just 24% said the four-term senator should wait until either Trump or Biden takes office in January.
Seventy-percent of Maine GOP voters said Collins should vote as soon as possible on Trump's nominee, whom the president said he will name Saturday.
Dick Enright, a retired Air Force medic, said he considers himself an independent-minded Democrat. He said he supported Collins until the approval of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
“He’s a bad person and not fit for the court,” said Enright. “I trusted her to take a stand on his fitness.”
Now, he said, it’s only right that she insist Republicans refrain from any nomination hearings until after the new Senate is seated in January. “Fair is fair. [Mitch] McConnell blocked Obama when he had the reins. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
Collins could stand up to her majority leader publicly, said Enright. She could call out her party for the unfairness and partisanship they’re currently demonstrating. It’s notable, he said, that she is doing neither.
“She’s just playing a game and trying to gain votes by saying as little as possible. If there was a chance she’d really turn around and take a real stand on this issue, I’d be happy. But I don’t see her doing that.”
U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District, seems to be out-running every candidate for major office in Maine this cycle after many expected a close reelection race for the freshman in a swing district. Golden had 56 percent of votes in the poll to 33 percent for former state Rep. Dale Crafts, his Republican challenger, with 13 percent undecided.
Mainers gave Gov. Janet Mills relatively high marks for her coronavirus response, with 59 percent giving her grades of either A or B. That deviated strongly from the grades for Trump, who got an F mark from 48 percent of voters.
Let’s keep up the momentum to flip Maine Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Gideon, Biden and their fellow Maine Democrats campaigns: