Poll shows tightening race for Maine governor: Mike Michaud leads Paul LePage by 2 points, with Eliot Cutler well behind | Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

Disclaimer: I am not related to Mike Michaud, as far as I can tell. (There are many people in Maine with the last name Michaud.) However, if I was a Maine voter, I might fall under the anti-LePage category.

The race for governor has tightened. Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud has a slight but statistically insignificant lead over Republican Gov. Paul LePage with 37 days remaining before Election Day, according to a new poll commissioned by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

The poll, which surveyed 482 likely voters on landlines and cellphones from Sept. 18 to 25, shows Michaud leading LePage 40 percent to 38 percent, with independent Eliot Cutler drawing 12 percent.

Michaud’s 2-point lead is less than the 4-point advantage he had in the newspaper’s last poll, conducted June 12 to 18. His June lead and the new margin are both within the polls’ 4.4 percent margins of error.

The poll and interviews with poll respondents suggest that the governor’s best hope for re-election still hinges on dividing the opposition vote between Michaud and Cutler.

It’s working. Michaud benefits from the anti-LePage vote, but he has not pulled away from the governor even as support for Cutler has stagnated. In addition, in a sharp reversal from the Press Herald poll conducted in June, Michaud is now virtually tied with LePage when respondents are asked to predict who will win the race. Ten percent of voters said they were undecided about the race, although the electorate is paying more attention to the race. Forty-nine percent said they have definitely decided whom they will vote for, 21 percent said they are leaning toward a candidate, and 30 percent are still trying to decide.

Read more of this story by Steve Mistler. There are links from this story to other stories on the race.

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