The latest on Question 1: Two polls, plus a Maine Supreme Court ruling

Here’s the latest news on Question 1, the bear-baiting vote:

Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting release own poll, says Maine is split — and maybe confused — by Question 1.

The poll commissioned by Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting was conducted by Lake Research Partners, a public opinion and political strategy research firm based in Washington, D.C. Yes on 1 campaign poll, PDF.

The firm administered the survey by phone Oct. 26-28 and reached a total of 700 people generated from a list of registered voters in Maine.

The interviewers were instructed to read the following: “This November, there will be a measure on the statewide ballot in Maine. It is called Question 1 and it reads: Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs, or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or for research?

Would you vote YES or NO on this question?” On that question, 45 percent voted “yes” and 47 percent voted “no,” according to the Yes on 1 campaign.

However, the interviewer also followed up with another question, asking: “Just to be clear, do you think your vote was to STOP the use of bait, dogs, or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or research, or to continue to ALLOW these practices?”

When asked this way, 51 percent of voters said they wanted to stop these practices, 42 percent want to continue them, and 7 percent replied they “don’t know. The margin of error for this poll was 3.7% percent.

A new BDN/Ipsos poll says voters are leaning toward “No” on Question 1, however. The latest poll commissioned by the Bangor Daily News has found a majority of voters aren’t willing to end the hunting practices. The poll was released by the BDN on Thursday.

According to the BDN/Ipsos poll, 49 percent of likely voters said they’d vote against the ban, while 45 percent said they’d support it. That poll was conducted online by Ipsos Public Affairs from Oct. 23 to 29 and surveyed 1,005 residents, including 946 registered voters and 488 likely voters ages 18 and older.

Meanwhile, the Maine Supreme Court has denied an appeal by Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting to stop the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife from advocating on Question 1. 

The Yes on 1 campaign had sued the state over DIFW’s advocacy on a “No” vote on Question 1, and sought an injunction to stop the agency’s advertising and actions in the campaign. The injunction was not granted, and the appeal to Supreme Court was also denied.

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at