Rural Election Watch: Maine Senate

By Sean Reagan

Maine Democrat Tom Allen continues his uphill battle to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins. Right now, the race is one of a few bright spots for the GOP in this cycle.

The latest Rasmussen has Collins up seven points, a lead that climbs to ten when “leaners” are added. This is basically unchanged from June’s numbers.

And yesterday, a local poll showed Collins enjoying a ten point lead. On the other hand, that poll sampled voters over a four week period – which tends to dilute its validity.

Still, there’s no good reason to write off Allen’s campaign.

Collins’ lead has slowly but steadily fallen over the past four months. In June it finally dipped below fifty percent (49%) and didn’t budge in July. Below fifty is vulnerable territory for any incumbent. And we’re still a good three months away from actually voting.

So Allen has time to keep chipping away. The key going forward is going to be winning over unaffiliated voters – they currently go for Collins by a wide margin, 58 – 32.

Recent ad buys should help. Advertising Age is reporting that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is dropping more than $5 million in the state. That’s a lot of message – and a clear sign that the Democrats see no reason to cede anything to Collins.

Also worth noting is that Obama still enjoys a healthy lead – eleven points according to RealClearPolitics’ rolling average – over McCain in the state.

Watch for Allen to gain a few points as the summer progresses and finish big as the leaves turn. Collins is a long way from having this one wrapped up.

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