Poll: Susan Collins, Sara Gideon in Virtual Tie for Maine Senate Race

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine speaks after having lunch with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Mary Schwalm/AP Photo

A poll released Tuesday found Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Democrat challenger Sara Gideon within one point of each other in the race for U.S. Senate in Maine.

The poll, conducted by Bangor Daily News and Digital Research Insights from September 25 through October 4, showed Gideon with 44 percent support and Collins with 43 percent support, well within the poll’s 4.4 percent margin of error.

The latest results point to a potential rebound for Collins, who is seeking her fifth term in the Senate but had been, up until now, trailing Gideon in recent public polls by four to five points.

As Bangor Daily News reported, this same poll had Gideon, who has been Maine’s house speaker since 2016, leading by five points in August with more undecided voters at the time — 14 percent undecided then and eight percent undecided now.

RealClearPolitics’ polling average currently ranks the race a “toss up.”

The poll is the first to be conducted fully after the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Collins’ subsequent announcement that she would not vote on a nominee to replace Ginsburg before the November 3 election. Collins was just one of two Republican senators to break with the party in rejecting the move to vote on a nominee.

The poll asked, “How does this impact your likelihood to vote for her?” Despite Collins being an outlier on the matter, a majority, or 52 percent, said it had no impact, while 15 percent said they were “much less likely to vote for her” and 11 percent said they were “much more likely to vote for her.”

In addition to the gap closing between Collins and Gideon, the poll also bodes well for another Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump. Maine apportions its electoral college votes by congressional district, and while former Vice President Joe Biden leads statewide, the poll shows Trump carrying Maine’s rural Second Congressional District by eight points. This could prove significant, as Breitbart News outlined in one scenario, in deciding the presidential race outcome.

In that same district, Collins leads Gideon 50 percent to 36 percent, and incumbent Rep. Jared Golden (D) leads his Republican opponent, Dale Crafts, 52 percent to 34 percent.

The poll’s responses came from 466 likely Maine voters.


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