Hat tip to Ethan Strimling — one half of the BDN’s “Agree to Disagree” blog, along with Phil Harriman — for reporting the results of a private poll that showed Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci leading the pack of early Democratic hopefuls in the 2014 race for Maine’s 2nd U.S House District.
Though for me, Strimling sort of buried the lede: The most interesting thing about this poll is that Baldacci, brother of the former Gov. John Baldacci, paid for it. The city councilman has demurred over and over about whether he’ll run for the seat being vacated as Rep. Mike Michaud runs for governor, but it’s starting to look like he’s ready to announce any day.
Baldacci paid Public Policy Polling, who you may be sick of hearing about, to conduct the survey of 561 likely Democratic primary voters. It showed Baldacci (31 percent) leading Maine Sens. Emily Cain of Orono (22 percent) and Troy Jackson of Allagash (15 percent). Contractor Alden Smith polled at just 2 percent, and 30 percent of voters were undecided.
Call me naive, but I’m not sure someone would pay for a poll, let alone release its results to a blogger, if they weren’t really close to announcing their candidacy. Keep an eye on Baldacci in the coming weeks.
It’s worth noting that PPP, often targeted by detractors as being too cozy with Democrats, was at the center of a polling-geek firestorm last week when the firm revealed it had chosen not to release a poll showing that a Democratic state senator in Colorado would likely be recalled. The poll ended up being correct; the senator was recalled last week by exactly the margin PPP predicted. The move to hold the poll was widely criticized by other pollsters, including BDN blogger Mike Tipping.
On the GOP side, former Senate President Kevin Raye of Perry, former Sen. Richard Rosen of Bucksport, former state treasurer Bruce Poliquin and U.S. Navy veteran Blaine Richardson have all announced their candidacies.
Full toplines of Baldacci’s poll can be found here.