Maine Poll: Biden Leads Trump; GOP Sen. Collins Within Striking Distance of Challenger

`WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 10: U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) speaks at a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on June 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. The committee is examining the implementation of the CARES Act, which has handed out billions of dollars of government-backed forgivable loans to small-business …
Al-Drago-Pool/Getty Images

A poll released on Monday by left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows presumptive Democrat Party nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by 11 points, 53 percent to 42 percent, in Maine.

Notably, that same poll shows the Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate, Sara Gideon, with just a four-point lead over incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), 46 percent to 42 percent. Taking Collins’s Maine Senate seat out of the Republican column and putting it into the Democrat column is considered one of the lynchpins of the Democrat Party’s 2020 election efforts to retake the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Democrats supported Gideon by a 79 percent to 13 percent margin. Republicans supported Collins by a 76 percent to eight percent margin. Independents were evenly split, with 44 percent backing each candidate.

Women supported Gideon by a 49 percent to 39 percent margin. Men supported Collins by a 46 percent to 43 percent margin.

PPP has a reputation of framing the questions in polls and organizing the respondent samples to advance a narrative supporting a progressive political agenda. Given that reputation, the fact that Gideon is running 11 points behind Biden and Collins is running four points ahead of Trump in the PPP poll released on Monday suggests that Gideon will have a much tougher time unseating Collins than Democrat Party officials had hoped.

The only other poll of the Maine 2020 Senate race match-up in the RealClearPolitics average of polls was conducted by Colby College in February. That poll gave Gideon a one-point lead over Collins, which was within that poll’s 3.2 percent margin of error.

First elected to the Senate in 1996, Collins was reelected in 2014 by a margin of 37 percentage points.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in Maine by a margin of three points, 48 percent to 45 percent, but took only three of the state’s four electoral college votes. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that do not award all of their electoral college votes to the overall popular vote winner in the state.

Maine awards two electoral college votes to the statewide popular vote winner of the presidential contest, one electoral college vote to the winner of the popular vote in the state’s First Congressional District and one electoral college vote to the winner of the popular vote in the state’s Second Congressional District. Due to its small population, Maine only has two congressional districts.

Clinton won the popular vote in Maine’s First Congressional District in 2016 by 14 percentage points and received that district’s one electoral college vote, giving her three of the state’s four electoral college votes. Trump won the popular vote in Maine’s Second Congressional District that year by ten percentage points and received that district’s one electoral college vote, giving him one of the state’s four electoral college votes.

PPP is the only firm in the RealClearPolitics average of polls that has polled the presidential matchup in Maine over the past year. The poll results released on Monday are virtually the same as two earlier PPP polls. One conducted in March 2020 gave Biden a ten-point lead over Trump; another conducted in October 2019 gave Biden a 12-point lead over Trump.

The questions in the poll released on Monday are consistent with PPP’s reputation for using polling as a way to establish a political narrative for the progressive agenda.

Among those questions and responses were the following:

When asked, “Do you think Donald Trump should have been impeached and removed from office, or not?” 51 percent of respondents said yes, while 44 percent said no.

Eighty-four percent of Democrats said yes, while 11 percent said no. Ten percent of Republicans said yes, while 88 percent said no. Among independents, 50 percent said yes, while 42 percent said no.

The poll also asked a question framed negatively around Collins but included no such question about Gideon.

When asked, “Do you think Susan Collins is more an independent voice for Maine or a partisan voice for Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell?” 46 percent of respondents said she was a partisan voice for Trump and McConnell, while 42 percent said she was an independent voice for Maine.

The survey of 1,022 registered voters in Maine was conducted between July 2 and July 3 and has a 3.1 percent margin of error. Thirty percent of poll respondents self-identified as Republicans, 38 percent as Democrats, and 32 percent as independents.

Correction: This article originally stated 38 percent of poll respondents were Republican, 30 percent were Democrat, and 28 percent were independent. It has been updated to reflect the correct percentages of 30, 38, and 32 respectively.

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