While I wrote yesterday about how a poll by Pan Atlantic SMS Group showed incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage with a modest five-point lead over Democrat challenger Rep. Mike Michaud and independent candidate Eliot Cutler, a new poll released today by Rasmussen shows that the race may in fact be even tighter: in the poll of 930 likely voters, LePage has a one-point lead over Michaud.
LePage picks up 41% of the vote to Michaud's 40% in a new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Maine Voters. Independent Eliot Cutler is in a distant third with 16% of the vote. One percent (1%) prefer another candidate in the race, while three percent (3%) are undecided.
LePage was elected in 2010 with 38 percent of the vote in a very competitive three-person race.
Polling in late October 2010 initially suggested that LePage would cruise to a relatively easy victory over Cutler and Democrat Libby Mitchell. On Election Day, however, the race went down to the wire thanks to a surprise surge from Cutler supporters. The race was not decided until the next morning, and Cutler didn't concede the race until nearly 14 hours after the polls closed.
Earlier this electoral cycle, polls had shown Michaud to have a slight lead over LePage, but the tide appears to be turning. Either way, both polls are within the margin of error, so who knows what will actually happen on Election Day.
Buckle up, Mainers.