Maine Republicans disapprove of Olympia Snowe and they think her rightful place is in the Democratic Party.
Our Maine poll this week finds that Snowe continues to be one of the most popular Senators in the country with a 50/40 approval rating, which in this political environment is great. Her numbers are very unusual though in that her highest level of popularity is with Democrats at 59/29. She's on solid ground with independents as well at 52/39. It's the voters in her own party bringing down her overall numbers- a 51% majority of Republicans disapprove of her with only 40% giving her good marks.
Snowe should have an interesting balancing act if she runs again in 2012. By a 40-36 margin Democrats in the state say her rightful place is in the Republican Party. But by a 50-37 spread Republicans say she would fit in better as a Democrat. Snowe's best path to reeelection may be as an independent caucusing with the Democrats- we'll release numbers on Monday that make it very clear her chances of being nominated again as a Republican are slim if she gets a half viable challenge from the right.
Other observations from Maine:
-Susan Collins, although not as popular as Snowe, sees the same basic trends in her approval numbers. Democrats like her the most at 49/38, followed by independents at 46/40, and Republicans disapprove of her 40/50. It all adds up to slightly positive reviews at 45/43.
-There's been pretty much no change in public opinion on gay marriage in the state since last fall. 49% of voters say they think it should be illegal to 43% who think they should be allowed. Maine voters rejected the state's law allowing same sex marriage last fall by that identical 6 point margin.
Full results here