PPP Round 2: Collins still ironclad; 54 percent of GOP primary voters support impeaching Obama

Public Policy Polling released their second batch of results after polling in Maine over the weekend, this time focusing on U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and the hard-core of Maine’s Republican Party.

I’m not going to go into the same extensive analysis as yesterday (wouldn’t want you all to get poll fatigue this early in the election cycle) but here are the nuggets:

Results for Collins indicated that her support is still ironclad. The senator had favorability ratings above 50 percent from Democrats, Republicans and unenrolled voters alike, and an overall approval rating of 57 percent.

Still, other results showed that Collins, a moderate who is up for reelection next year, could be vulnerable to a primary challenge from the right flank of the GOP, though no such challenger has yet made themselves apparent. 48 percent of likely GOP primary voters said they would support “someone more conservative” than Collins, while 47 percent said they’d stick with the four-term senator against such a challenge.

Further illustrating that Maine’s Republican Party is skewing more conservative, 38 percent of likely GOP primary voters said they identified as “very conservative,” while another 36 percent said they were “somewhat conservative.” Just 18 percent identified as “moderate,” 6 percent as “liberal” and 3 percent as “very liberal.”

Pitted against former state treasurer Bruce Poliquin, who recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat, 64 percent of those GOP voters said they’d support the incumbent. 24 percent said they’d vote for Poliquin.

Among those same likely GOP primary voters, 54 percent said they’d support impeaching President Obama, compared with 32 percent who said they’d oppose impeachment and 14 percent who were unsure.

In head-to-heads with several potential Democratic contenders, Collins wins every time: She beats Eliot Cutler 55-33 and Rep. Chellie Pingree by 57-34. Interesting, Collins did th least well — but still won — in a match-up against celebrity horror author and noted Democrat, Stephen King. She beat him 45 to 23 in the poll.

Sen. Angus King, an independent, received an overall favorable/unfavorable score of 51/27. He’s most popular with Democrats (71/9), followed by independents (50/27), while lagging with Republicans (26/49).

Other findings:

  • Disapproval of same-sex marriage appears to be down in the state, with just 38 percent of respondents saying it should not be legal. In 2012, 47 percent of voters voted against same-sex marriage. Support for same-sex marriage is largely unchanged; 53 percent of poll respondents say it should be legal, compared to 52.6 percent of voters approving it in the 2012 referendum. 62 percent of respondents said the legalization of gay marriage has had “no impact” on their lives, 18 percent said it had a positive impact and 20 percent said it had a negative impact.
  • Of those polled, 48 percent think marijuana should be legal in Maine, 39 percent say it should be illegal and 14 percent are unsure. It’s an incredibly partisan issue, though, with support for legalization at 58 percent for Democrats and just 25 percent among Republicans.
  • To the question, “If you had to choose, would you rather live in the South or in Canada?” 44 percent of respondents chose our neighbors to the North, while 29 percent said they’d head for the warmer climates of the redder states.
  • Respondents were also asked to choose the greatest politician in Maine history: The results were George Mitchell (29 percent); Margaret Chase Smith (22 percent); Edmund Muskie (12 percent); Olympia Snowe (11 percent); Hannibal Hamlin and Bill Cohen (tied with 6 percent each); James Blaine (2 percent). 12 percent of respondents said they’d pick someone else, or were not sure.

Full results and crosstabs can be found by clicking here. PPP surveyed 953 registered Maine voters using automated telephone surveys, including an oversample of 321 likely GOP primary voters over last weekend. The margin of error overall is 3.2 percent — 5.5 percent for the GOP-only questions.

PPP is a go-to pollster for Democrats and has in the past been seen to weigh in favor of Democratic candidates. Still, according to the Washington Post, PPP correctly predicted the 2012 presidential election in all 19 swing states. Fordham University named the agency the most accurate pollster in 2012.

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.