If internal Democratic polling can be believed, Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and challenger Emily Cain are locked in one of the closest races in the country.
Two internal polls obtained by the Sun Journal show the Democratic hopeful and Poliquin in a dead heat the past few weeks, one reason that both parties are focusing so much money and attention on Maine’s 2nd District race.
The two polls, by Washington, D.C.-based Normington Petts, found as recently as Oct. 4 that Cain was up by 1 point — well within the margin of error — and that 9 percent of likely voters in the district remained undecided.
The most recent poll by the Cain-hired consultant also found Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton was up 44-40 in the hotly contested district where one electoral vote is at stake, with only 4 percent of voters undecided and 12 percent backing a minor party contender.
That flipped the results that an internal poll on Sept. 23 found, when Republican Donald Trump led Clinton 44-40.
Poliquin’s campaign declined to release any of its internal polling.
Poliquin consultant Brent Littlefield said Cain’s campaign has been “openly shopping fake polls for months.”
He said she has “a longstanding history of releasing fake polls which don’t hold up to scrutiny,” pointing to one just before the election in 2014 that showed her winning by 8 points. She lost by 5 points, a 13 percent swing that almost never happens with legitimate polling.
The polls surveyed 400 likely voters in the district by phone. The most recent one took place Oct. 2 and 3, before the release of Trump’s 2005 “locker room talk” with an “Access Hollywood” reporter. It has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
Two public polls last month found Poliquin in the lead by 5 to 10 percent.