Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Poll Finds Baldacci Down

A new Survey USA poll pegs Baldacci's approval rating at 37%. I'm sure that the budget debate and other issues have made a dent in his popularity, but I find it hard to believe that his numbers have dropped 30 points since the last poll in February.

Apparantly, I'm not alone. From the BDN:
Some pollsters in Maine also were skeptical of the SurveyUSA results. Patrick Murphy at Strategic Marketing Services in Portland released a poll in February that placed Baldacci’s job approval rating at 67.5 percent. Murphy questioned the methodology used in computerized telephone polling, saying, “I cannot fathom that kind of a drop” in Baldacci’s approval ratings.

Kevin Fay, at Critical Insights in Portland, shared similar concerns about the reliability of computer-based polling techniques and also found it hard to believe the governor’s approval rating could have taken such a dive.
“That’s the kind of thing you might expect if the state’s bond rating dropped to junk and there was complete gridlock over property tax reform and that basically nothing was working right,” Fay said.

Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, said it was important to cross-reference the poll’s findings with any other existing surveys given the wide disparity in results over the four-month period. She added the Mother’s Day weekend also could have skewed the results.

“There’s some polling firms that won’t do polling over a big holiday because they can’t find a lot of folks,” she said.

Visit the new Maine Politics.


I think the numbers are correct and Baldacci is finding out that he will not survive on popularity alone, the people of Maine have expectations and the Governor has not lived up to them. Hopefully this will be a wake up call and he will see the light.  

Posted by tom

5/12/2005 12:24:00 PM


I would not take either poll too seriously. Murphy's February number was way too high and Survey USA's methods are questionable. My guess is Bladacci was really aroun 60% early in the year and is likely around 50% today. 

Posted by George

5/12/2005 10:29:00 PM


Surveys are surveys...this one had a respectable sample size of 600+.

I reviewed the splits and the under 35 numbers among Democrats were shockingly low!

There are errors in phone based surveying, since few young people use land lines and it costs money to locate them. Older retired people are easy to find and they tend to be party loyalists. Muskie, Critical Insights & SMS all use phone calls; what's important are the callbacks to match responses with demographics or to seperate responses from packages, like SMS's Omnibus survey, or from leading/pushy questions.

Baldacci's support is way down largely because of the veto drives--three of them; nervousness over base closings; and the moronic push by DEM's to have a clearly illegal half billion dollar bond package($447 + nearly $50 m. in interest) that is also immoral, since it is 'backed' by the gambling addicts and the poor. The worse off Maine becomes, the greater the tendency to gamble; putting the Democrats in the idiotic position of promoting gambling to pay off the bond! ....Many Democrats have distanced themselves from this venture, and many Mainers, now that they fully understand what's going on, have changed their opinion about Baldacci.

You can carp about the 37% rating, but it may indeed be an accurate reflection of voter discontent!

Posted by HOUSE

5/13/2005 08:40:00 AM


If you really want to know what the DEM's are complaining about, read what AMY FRIED has to say about the politics of polling:

"In this book, public opinion is more than the sum of a pollster's tally; instead, Amy Fried defines it as a political tool, integral to the political process, where vested interests compete to legitimize their interpretation of the public voice.  Fried explores the construction, interpretation, and uses of public opinion, raising important questions about the media and the role of special interest groups in determining policy. 

This is why Patrick Murphy's polls have been so critical to the success of the Democrats in Maine; and why he and other Dem's resent having more objective outsiders survey Mainers.  

Posted by HOUSE

5/13/2005 09:01:00 AM



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