-It looks like Maine voters will reverse their 2009 decision and legalize gay marriage in the state this fall. 54% think that gay marriage should be legal to only 41% who think it should be illegal. And when we asked about the issue using the exact language voters will see on the ballot this fall, they say they're inclined to support the referendum by a 47-32 margin.
There's some indication that the exact ballot language is confusing people a little at this point. Only 67% of those who support gay marriage in general say they'll vote yes while 12% say they'll not and 21% are not sure. At the same time just 60% of those who oppose gay marriage generally say they'll vote against the proposed referendum, while 24% say they'll vote for it and 16% are not sure. My guess is at the end of the day voters will see this as a straight referendum on gay marriage regardless of what the language on the ballot says- and the 54/41 number bodes well for pro-equality voters.
Republicans' opinions are pretty much the same as they were in 2009. But Democrats' support for gay marriage has increased slightly, from 71% to 78%. And more importantly independents have gone from voting against gay marriage 52/46 three years ago to now supporting it by a 57/36 margin.
-In the wake of her retirement announcement Olympia Snowe has tied colleagues Daniel Inouye and John Barrasso for the highest approval rating PPP has ever found for a Senator. 69% of voters like the job she's doing to only 26% who disapprove. She gets her best numbers with Democrats (76/20), followed by independents (72/23), then Republicans (57/36).
-Maine voters continue to have buyer's remorse about the 2010 race for Governor. Paul LePage has only a 41% approval rating, with 52% of voters disapproving of him. Those are the poorest numbers we've found for him since he took office. If voters could do it over again they would elect independent Eliot Cutler as Governor, giving him 43% of the vote to 35% for LePage, and 19% for Democrat Libby Mitchell. On the heels of our poll yesterday showing Angus King ahead in the Senate race it looks like Mainers have an appetite for progressive leaning independents these days.
-Angus King's +38 favorability spread at 62/24 makes him only the second most popular King in the state. Stephen King comes in at +44 with 60% of voters rating him favorably to 16% with a negative opinion. The writer, like the politician, is a lot more popular with Democrats (71/8) than he is with Republicans (42/29). Maybe with Chellie Pingree out of the race Democrats could turn in that direction.
-Mike Michaud has a 53/27 favorability rating, much better than the 47/41 we found for Pingree on yesterday's poll. Michaud's numbers are basically identical to hers with Democrats but he's a lot more popular with Republicans (26% favorability to her 11%) and independents (53/25 vs. 48/37) than she is. If there is/was a Democrat who could win in a three way race with Angus King and a Republican, it's probably Michaud.
Full results here