The two of us received an exclusive advance copy of a recent poll performed by the Raye for Congress team. As usual, we asked for and received the full poll with demographics in order to analyze the validity. To that end, we concluded it is credible.
The poll was performed by Public Opinion Strategies, a national Republican polling firm with many well-known clients including U.S. Sens. Rand Paul and John McCain and even our own Gov. Paul LePage. Although we haven’t had the time to analyze all the cross tabs, the breakdown and balance appears correct. Respondents included 29 percent Republicans, 30 percent Democrats, and 36 percent independents. Plus the age breakdown was 32 percent below 45 and 68 percent above. Gender breakdown was 48-52, male to female, respectively. All three of these breakdowns are pretty close to what most pollsters deem as balanced. The poll surveyed 400 people from November 4-5, including 20 percent on cellphones and had a margin of error of 4.9 percent. They also polled an additional 310 Republicans for the Republican primary match-ups and that margin of error was 5.57%.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what it says. Not surprisingly, former Maine Senate President Kevin Raye is crushing the field in the Republican primary. The head-to-head match-up at this point is:
Kevin Raye 42 percent
Bruce Poliquin 18 percent
Richard Rosen 5 percent
Blaine Richardson 3 percent
Even better for Raye, when you for control for name identification (only incorporate responses from people who know both candidates), Raye goes up to 49 percent, and Poliquin goes to 22 percent, increasing Raye’s margin to a whopping 27 percent.
However, that’s not really the interesting news. The interesting news is that when they tested general election match-ups (Raye against Democrats Emily Cain or Troy Jackson and Poliquin against Cain or Jackson) Raye beat Cain and Jackson by 15 and 14 points respectively.
Raye 45 percent Raye 45 percent
Cain 31 percent Jackson 30 percent
However, when they tested Poliquin against the same, Poliquin loses to Cain by three points and loses to Jackson by five.
Jackson 38 percent Cain 37 percent
Poliquin 33 percent Poliquin 34 percent
Obviously, the analysis of these numbers is pretty straight forward. If Republicans want to win the seat in the fall, their best shot is to nominate Kevin Raye. If Democrats want to keep it blue, they need to register as Republicans and help Poliquin win the primary.
Posted by Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling