Poll gives Dill early edge with many still undecided (Apr. 6, 2012)

State Sen. Cynthia Dill, a candidate seeking her party’s nomination to succeed Olympia Snowe, is in a “statistical tie” atop the field of four candidates in the first statewide poll conducted of the Democratic field for U.S. Senate.

The Maine People’s Resource Center poll released today asked voters across Maine which candidate they support in the race for the nomination. With more than half of voters undecided, the poll found Dill and Matt Dunlap “in a statistical tie for the lead” among those who support a candidate, topping Rep. Jon Hinck and Benjamin Pollard.

Mike Tipping, political director of the Maine People’s Alliance which commissioned the survey, said the methodology used in the poll has predicted the winner twice in the past two years, including in last year’s 18-person Portland mayoral contest.

“This tends to validate some of the internal polling we’ve done, which suggests we have support statewide, from Fort Kent to Kittery, “ Dill said. “The issues we’ve been talking about — jobs, opportunity and economic fairness — resonate with people everywhere.

“They don’t see government working for them. They see special-interest money with an outsized influence in public policy. They feel left behind in a system run by and favoring the wealthy. They see a ridiculous GOP war on women, cuts to the poor to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy, a lack of creativity in job creation and unwillingness to reach across the aisle.”

According to the Bangor Daily News, Dill holds a slight edge in the four-way race with 20.3 percent, followed by Dunlap at 16.7 percent, Hinck at 6.2 percent and Pollard at 1.3 percent.

University of Maine political analyst Mark Brewer said he was surprised by Dill’s strong showing.

“I hadn’t considered that possibility; I thought Dunlap would sort of run away with [the nomination],” he told the BDN.

“The reason we have traction is that people want new thinking and new leaders. In my campaign, voters see a fair-minded business person, not a career politician, someone who knows how to meet a payroll and still cooks dinner for her family. Someone who has backed marriage equality and has a proven vision of social justice for Mainers and of economic diversity for Maine. Someone wins elections and spends every day fighting extremists at the State House who want to allow more guns in our public places, deny women access to birth control, disenfranchise voters and cut aid to the most vulnerable.

“We are the ones talking about taxation fairness, economic justice, and diversifying, growing and modernizing our economy to make Maine a leader in the emerging industries we know we can dominate: tidal power, biomass and pellet fuels, agriculture, water resources, specialty manufacturing, ecotourism and an array of broadband-based retail and knowledge industries.

“I’ve been unafraid and steadfast in my beliefs. Voters know what they’ll get with Senator Dill. But it’s a roll of the dice to choose an independent who doesn’t have a preference for a Senate leader, or a Democrat who talks like a Republican.”

Dill, a state senator who represents the people of South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and part of Scarborough, has been representing Mainers in public and private practice for more than 20 years. She sponsored the legislation that created the Broadband Strategy Council. As its chairperson, she helped obtain $35 million in investment for the Three Ring Binder Project, a nationally recognized private/public partnership bringing high-speed Internet access to rural parts of Maine and expanding opportunities for jobs, education and health care. For her complete bio, click here.

For detailed data on the poll results, which also indicate strengthening support for marriage equality in Maine, click here.

For the story in the Bangor Daily News, click here.

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