Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

November 2, 2016

Study: The economy, job losses are topmost on Mainers' minds

One-third of Mainers believe the economy is the most important issue facing the state, up 11% from the spring, while unemployment is the second biggest area of worry at 14%, a new study found.

Education, health care, taxes and welfare programs also were listed as concerns.

One in four likely Maine voters polled by DRI | Critical Insights of Portland believe the state is headed in the right direction, while only 15% believe the country is on the right track.

The market research firm released its Fall 2016 Tracking Poll on Nov 1. It was conducted between Sept. 24 and Oct. 4, with 603 completed surveys of registered voters by telephone and online.

Compared to last fall’s 17%, Mainers are more likely this fall (24%) to believe the state is headed in the right direction.

Views on the future of the state tended to be split along party lines, with 49% of Democrats saying the state is headed in the wrong direction versus 36% of Republicans who felt the same way.

Most still believe that the nation as a whole is headed in the wrong direction, with 56% now compared to 46% last fall. College-educated Mainers, those 65 years or older and self-reported Democrats were more optimistic, while 71% of Republicans felt the nation is on the wrong track.

Politicians not popular

In the realm of politics, Mainers agreed on their feelings about the two major-party candidates, with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each gleaning a 61% disapproval from likely voters.

Yet, poll numbers for both candidates surprised DRI | Critical Insights President Bob Domine, who was concerned that the survey’s presidential polling might be stale by the second Tuesday of November. “On the eve of the election, things seem to be circling back to where they stood in early October, with Trump narrowly edging out Clinton statewide,” he said in a statement. “We’ll see whether the most recent developments in the presidential race have any down-ballot effect.”

For the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree held a nine-point advantage over Republican Mark Holbrook. U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin was up by eight points over Democratic challenger Emily Cain, according to the survey results.

Gov. Paul LePage’s approval is near its lowest point in his tenure at 32%. Only 41% of Mainers approve of how the Legislature has done its job.

U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins continue to see their approval ratings slip.

All six ballot initiatives are likely to pass, according to the study.

There is strong statewide support for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at 62%.

Drugs still worrisome

Drug abuse remains a big concern, with 50% of Maine residents saying they know someone who has been adversely impacted by illegal drugs of who has used prescription drugs inappropriately.

About half of Democratic and Republican voters each believe more money should go into tackling the state’s drug problem. And 63% of voters polled believe the governor and Legislature should collaborate to solve the drug problem.

Read more

Report: Maine voters find common ground on clean energy, National Monument

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF