Maine’s 2nd Congressional District suddenly seems very much in play for Republicans.


Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain was seen as the early favorite to win the seat, which opened after six-term Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) opted to run for governor.

But a new poll from the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram shows insurgent Republican candidate Bruce Poliquin with a double-digit lead in the race.

Four in 10 likely voters said they would cast their ballots for Poliquin in the fall, while 30 percent of respondents favored Cain. Blaine Richardson, a libertarian-leaning Navy veteran who some thought could disrupt the race, garnered only 3 percent with 86 percent of respondents saying they didn’t know enough about him to have an opinion.

The survey suggests that Republican efforts, including dispatching Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE (R-Ohio) to the district to fundraise, are paying dividends. The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $1.5 million in advertising through Election Day, according to the Central Maine Morning Sentinel.

But Democrats have also been escalating their spending on the race, and there’re some signs the poll could be an outlier. The survey of the 2nd Congressional District was taken as part of a larger poll of the state, and only measured the response of 220 likely voters. The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 6.2 percent. A June poll of the district showed Cain with a 5-point advantage.

The most recent survey showed Maine’s other congressional races remain largely noncompetitive. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes MORE (R-Maine) leads her Democratic challenger, 59 to 29 percent. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) is easily ahead of Republican challenger Chellie Pingree, 66 to 13 percent.