CAUTION: When internal polling results are released by a candidate’s campaign, it is usually done to benefit the candidate in some way. This is especially true when not all the data is released with the results, as is the case here.
Democrat Emily Cain’s campaign released internal polling data today, which has Cain leading in the race to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District with 42 percent of registered voters questioned saying they would vote for her. In the poll, conducted by Normington, Petts and Associates, 34 percent of the 400 people questioned would vote for Bruce Poliquin and 8 percent would vote for Blaine Richardson, the independent candidate. Sixteen percent of those polled were still undecided.
The poll was conducted on Oct. 15 and 16, so it took place after the candidates’ first debate, but before the second debate.
The release of the information by Cain’s campaign comes amid dueling interpretations over the news that the National Republican Congressional Committee will pull back on its commitment to fund television ads against Cain. After the NRCC pledged $1.5 million, then spent $965,000, Roll Call reported Monday that the committee would divert the rest of the money elsewhere.
“We have put Democrats on defense in Maine, and we are increasing our buys in several offensive seats,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek told Roll Call, according to the report.
Democrats and Republicans, naturally, interpreted the news differently.
“It’s about time: NRCC Cuts TV Buy in Maine, signaling loss of support for @BrucePoliquin,” Maine’s Democratic Party tweeted.
For Cain’s poll, voters were called on cellphones and land lines. Thirty-three percent of the respondents were registered Democrats, 32 percent were registered Republicans and 35 percent were independent.
Two public polls were released last week, one showing Poliquin in the lead and the other favoring Cain. The only points the polls seem to agree on is that the race will be close and there’s still a large chunk of undecided voters.
“In comparison to where the public polls had this race even just a couple of weeks ago, it’s a significant movement toward Sen. Cain,” Jill Normington, partner with the polling group, said. Normington declined to send out cross tabs on the poll, which she said was the fourth she has conducted since Cain became the Democratic nominee in June. She said all her polls have had Cain in the lead.