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October 29, 2010

Hey, Remember that Northeast Firewall?

Is the wave traveling north? New polling suggests that the two Maine congressional races are much closer than anyone imagined. Let's begin with Maine's first congressional district:

Republican challenger Dean Scontras has moved slightly ahead of incumbent U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, although they remain in a statistical dead heat in their 1st Congressional District race, according to the fourth and final wave of The Maine Poll.

Scontras, an alternative-energy entrepreneur from Eliot, received 45 percent of respondents' support compared to 41 percent for Pingree, in the poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday for MaineToday Media by the Portland research firm Critical Insights.

This district went Republican during the 1994 wave, and Pingree has been dealing with some controversy lately regarding her fiance's private jet, a controversy that has extended into Massachusetts.

A few weeks ago, Republican Jason Levesque was 13 points behind incumbent Democrat Mike Michaud. Not any more.

Republican challenger Jason Levesque has overcome a double-digit deficit and pulled to within striking distance of Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, according to the latest results of The Maine Poll.

The poll of the race for Maine's 2nd Congressional District shows Michaud with the support of 44 percent of respondents and Levesque with 40 percent. That left about 14 percent of respondents who were still undecided.

He's got a little more ground to make up, but could be helped by the strength of Paul LePage, the Republican gubernatorial candidate. He's facing two candidates, Democrat Libby Mitchell and 'Independent' Eliot Cutler.

In the past two days, four polls have been released in the race for Maine's governor, and the numbers have been pretty consistent:

Rasmussen: LePage 40%, Mitchell 26%, Cutler 26%

PPP: LePage 40%, Cutler 28%, Mitchell 24%

Pan Atlantic SMS
: LePage 37%, Cutler 31%, Mitchell 22%.

Critical Insights: LePage 40%, Mitchell 21%, Cutler 21%.

What could help Levesque is that, according to the Pan Atlantic poll (a well-regarded Maine pollster) LePage is well ahead of his opponents in the second district. He's also ahead in the first. The Maine GOP also has a great get out the vote operation this year, which may help Levesque as well.

The latest polls have given Cutler supporters a little surge of hope that their guy can pull ahead. Nate Silver isn't so sure, and I agree with his analysis. If Cutler had started to move a couple of weeks ago, he would be in a position to win this race. Now, though, he simply has too much ground to make up in too short a time. There just aren't enough undecideds out there and there's no guarantee they would all break his way next Tuesday.

Maine's polls close at 8 p.m. If one of the two congressional districts goes red in this deeply blue state, it could suggest the Democrats are going to have a long, difficult night. (Yes, I changed it...you sickos)

digg this
posted by Slublog at 07:31 PM

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