PPP's newest poll on the Maine Senate race finds it much closer than expected, with independent Angus King leading with 43% to 35% for Republican Charlie Summers, and 14% for Democrat Cynthia Dill.
King's popularity is not what it was at the beginning of the campaign. 52% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 35% with an unfavorable one. That +17 spread is down a net 21 points from March when he was at +38 with 62% of voters rating him positively and 24% holding a negative opinion. The drop in King's popularity has been across the board, but it's particularly acute with Republicans. He's gone from 43/38 with them to now 22/65. His declines with independents (from 69/20 to 57/30) and Democrats (from 74/14 to 69/19) have been more modest.
It's reaching the point where King may need to more explicitly say he's going to organize as a Democrat if he wants to win this race. King is winning only 13% of the Republican vote at this point, but he's losing 26% of the Democratic vote to Dill. Among those already voting for King 64% want him to caucus with the Democrats if he's elected to only 9% who want him to side with the Republicans and 27% who are undecided. So he has more to gain by bringing Democrats voting for Dill into the fold than he does to lose by antagonizing his small number of Republican leaning supporters.
There's nothing too interesting in the Presidential contest in Maine. Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 55-39, a result pretty much in line with his 17 point victory there in 2008. Obama has solid approval numbers with 54% of voters giving him good marks to 42% who disapprove. Romney is quite unpopular with only 37% of voters rating him favorably to 57% with an unfavorable opinion. He's not getting any New England home region advantage in Maine.
Voters trust Obama over Romney on foreign policy by a 55/39 margin identical to the overall numbers. Only 34% of voters approve of how he reacted to the situation in Libya this week, while 51% disapprove. Obama also leads Romney 54-42 in terms of who voters trust more on the economy.
Full results here