Public Policy Polling calls Gov. Paul LePage one of the most unpopular governors in the country. But a new survey from the North Carolina pollster shows LePage has a good shot at winning re-election next year in a three-way match-up.
Just 39 percent of voters surveyed approve of LePage’s job performance and 55 percent disapprove, but the Republican governor came out on top in every three-way match-up the pollster tested in a survey released Tuesday.
The survey asked voters for their preferences if LePage were running against independent Eliot Cutler and five different Democrats: former Gov. John Baldacci, U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, Attorney General Janet Mills and former state Sen. (and BDN columnist) Ethan Strimling.
LePage came out on top in each scenario, leading four to seven points. Cutler came in second each time, except for when Michaud and Pingree were thrown into the mix. In a LePage-Michaud-Cutler race, LePage would take 34 percent of the vote to 30 percent for Michaud and 26 for Cutler.
If Pingree were the Democratic contender, LePage would take 37 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Pingree and 23 percent for Cutler.
LePage, according to the polling, would have a tough time in a two-way contest. He would trail Cutler 49-41, Baldacci 53-38, Michaud 57-36 and Pingree 53-40.
Democrats polled said Baldacci was their top choice for their party’s 2014 nominee. But PPP noted Michaud has high favorability statewide, which could position him well for a Blaine House run either next year or in the future. Some 58 percent of voters surveyed had a favorable opinion of the 2nd District congressman while 23 percent registered an unfavorable opinion.
LePage hasn’t announced whether he plans to seek a second term, though he’s formed a campaign committee and has been raising money for another Blaine House bid.
PPP surveyed 1,268 Maine voters for the survey, which had a 2.8 percent margin of error. PPP also surveyed 510 usual Democratic primary voters for a Democrats-only poll, which had a 4.4 percent margin of error.
The survey took place Jan. 18-20.