Some very good news today out of Maine courtesy of Emerson College’s latest poll:
The final Emerson College poll before the November 3rd election in Maine finds the former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump 54% to 43%. Three percent (3%) of voters plan to vote for someone else and 1% are undecided.
Biden is leading President Trump in the first district by 19 points, 58% to 39%. In the second district, Biden leads by 3 points, 50% to 47%.
Democrat Sara Gideon leads incumbent Senator Susan Collins 48% to 42%. Five percent (5%) plan to vote for independent Lisa Savage and one percent plan to vote for independent Max Linn. Four percent are undecided and one percent plan to vote for someone else.
Among Savage and Linn supporters, 61% choose Gideon as their second choice while just 14% have Collins as their second choice, the rest list no one or someone else as their second choice candidate.
The majority (54%) of Maine voters disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president while 43% approve of the job he is doing.
Voters were asked how much of a public health threat they think coronavirus is and the majority (56%) think it is a major threat while 20% say it is a moderate threat, 18% think it is a minor threat and 6% think it is no threat at all. The majority (91%) of those voting for Biden think it is a major threat while the plurality (41%) of those voting for Trump think it is a minor threat.
The plurality (35%) of Maine voters say the economy is the most important issue in deciding their vote for president, followed by COVID-19 response with 19%, healthcare with 10%, social justice with 10%, climate change with 9% and the supreme court with 4%.
Among Trump voters, the majority (71%) say the economy is the most important issue while the plurality (35%) of Biden voters say COVID-19 response is the most important issue.
The contest on Tuesday is likely to be the first time that Maine will count second choices in a Senate race using a ranked-choice voting system that has been in place since 2018. It allows voters to list a second candidate and counts those preferences as votes if no one reaches 50 percent when the first-choice votes are tabulated. The system could prove particularly dangerous for Ms. Collins — who like Ms. Gideon has consistently drawn below 50 percent in public polls conducted in recent months — because Lisa Savage, a progressive running as an independent in the race, has urged her supporters to list Ms. Gideon second.
“It’s obviously a very close race, but I feel that momentum is breaking my way,” Ms. Collins said on Thursday, after munching on an ice cream cone as she concluded a whirlwind string of rainy visits to local businesses across two counties. “My goal is to get 50 percent on Election Day, and ranked-choice voting would not come into play. So that’s what I hope.”
But there is little evidence that Ms. Collins has been able to take a commanding lead in recent weeks. Even after she became the only Republican to break with her party and Mr. Trump last week to vote against confirming Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, citing proximity to the election, voters appeared unmoved. In interviews across the state, her supporters and opponents both deemed it a necessary political maneuver to woo moderate voters, with Democrats noting that it had done nothing to affect the outcome.
“It’s hard to buck your party, and I do give her credit for that,” said Lara Rosen, 39, who was bundled in her car with a cup of haddock chowder and her 5-year-old son, Isaac Rosen-Murray, to support Ms. Gideon. “It’s not enough. It’s not the only thing that I care about.”