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Collins and Gideon neck and neck in new Maine Senate poll

Collins and Gideon neck and neck in new Maine Senate poll
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him GOP blocks effort to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks MORE (R-Maine) and Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) are neck and neck in a new poll of their Senate race released on Tuesday.

The Bangor Daily News-Digital Research poll shows a tighter race than previous surveys, with 44 percent of likely voters backing the Democratic candidate and 43 percent siding with the incumbent. Gideon’s 1 percentage point lead falls within the margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. 

Independent candidates Lisa Savage and Max Linn earned 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Seven percent of likely voters reported they were undecided.

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The survey moved the average since July among independent polling to a 4.5-point lead for Gideon  over Collins, who is considered among the most vulnerable GOP senators.

Gideon has higher favorability numbers, with 42 percent having a positive opinion of her and 37 percent having a negative one. For Collins, 38 percent of likely voters had a positive view, compared with 49 percent who had a negative view. 

The Bangor Daily News noted the poll was the first to be fully completed after Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgSupreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs Cuomo likens COVID-19 to the Grinch: 'The season of viral transmission' For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty MORE’s death, which prompted a partisan battle in the Senate over whether to fill her Supreme Court seat before the election. 

Collins strayed from most of her Republican colleagues and said she didn’t support filling the vacancy until after the Nov. 3 election. But the majority of likely voters — 52 percent — said Collins’s decision not to support a Supreme Court nominee before the election would have no effect on their vote. 

The Bangor Daily News-Digital Research poll surveyed 466 likely voters between Sept. 25 and Oct. 4. The margin of error amounted to 4.4 percentage points. 

Polls over the past month have shown Gideon ahead of Collins by varying leads but often within the margins of error, including her 4-point lead in a Colby College poll and her 5-point leads in a Boston Globe-Suffolk University poll and in a New York Times-Siena College poll

A Quinnipiac University poll from mid-September determined that the Democratic candidate held a 12-point lead over Collins. 

The Senate election will become a ranked-choice vote if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.