Obama, Snowe, LePage, Cutler and the economy featured in latest Pan Atlantic SMS poll

A wide-ranging poll conducted last month by the Portland-based firm Pan Atlantic SMS asked Mainers a variety of questions about the economy and state and national political leaders.

The poll (see it here) of 400 registered Maine voters was conducted between Nov. 9 and Nov. 22 and had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Results indicated that ore Mainers think the state is headed in the right direction now (38.5 percent) than those who were polled May (29.5 percent). By far, more Republicans (56.8 percent) feel like Maine is headed in the right direction, likely a reflection of the fact that the GOP controls both the Legislature and the Blaine House.

Assessing the U.S. economy, 85 percent of those polled said it’s worse now than it was in November 2010. Only 15 percent felt things have improved. Approximately 75 percent of those polled believe the economy will not rebound until after 2012.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who is up for reelection next year, still enjoys a high favorability rating (73.8 percent). More than 59 percent believe Snowe should be reelected in 2012 while just 28 percent believe she should not. Snowe faces two Republican primary challengers — Scott D’Amboise and Andrew Ian Dodge — and one of two Democrats — Matthew Dunlap and Jon Hinck — who have entered the race.

Gov. Paul LePage’s favorability rating is 52 percent, but that has dropped four percentage points since Pan Atlantic SMS’ poll in May. Additionally, more Mainers (50.3 percent) disapprove of the job LePage is doing than approve (43.3 percent).

The Pan Atlantic SMS poll also asked: If the gubernatorial election were held today, who would you vote for?

Independent Eliot Cutler, who narrowly lost to LePage, topped the poll with 35.8 percent, followed by LePage (33.3 percent) and Democrat Libby Mitchell (14.5 percent).

Mainers were evenly split on President Barack Obama, with 48.8 percent approving of the job he’s done and 48.5 percent opposing. That is a shift of 9 points from the fall of 2009, when 57.9 percent of Mainers approved of Obama.

The Pan Atlantic SMS poll revealed that more Mainers looked favorably on the Occupy Wall Street movement (44.8 percent) than those who viewed the movement as negative (34.5 percent).