Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Snowe's path to reelection

Yesterday we showed that Olympia Snowe would have a very difficult time winning the Republican nomination for another term in the Senate from Maine. Our general election numbers in the state show that there is one easy way she could return to the body in 2013 though- running as an independent. In four match ups we tested that included Snowe as an independent along with a Democrat (we looked at Rosa Scarcelli and Emily Cain) and a Republican (we looked at Scott D'Amboise and Andrew Ian Dodge) she gets anywhere from 54-57% of the vote, finishing in first place with Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.

Despite her mediocre numbers within her own party, Snowe's overall approval rating of 60% to 32% disapproval makes her one of the most popular Senators in the country. That's because her numbers with Democrats (67% approval) and independents (63% approval) far outrun her standing with Republicans (just 49% approval.)

Running as an independent Snowe would get her highest level of support from independents, followed by Democrats, and then by Republicans. With Scott D'Amboise as the Republican and Emily Cain as the Democrats she leads by 33 points at 54%, leading Cain by 22 with Democrats, D'Amboise by 5 with Republicans, and D'Amboise by 48 with independents. With D'Amboise as the Republican and Rosa Scarcelli as the Democrat she leads by 36 points at 56%, leading Scarcelli by 29 with Democrats, D'Amboise by 7 with Republicans, and D'Amboise by 51 with independents. With Andrew Ian Dodge as the Republican and Cain as the Democrat Snowe leads by 37 points at 56%, leading Cain by 30 with Democrats, Dodge by 8 with Republicans, and Dodge by 51 with independents. And with Dodge as the Republican and Scarcelli as the Democrat she leads by 38 points at 57%, leading Scarcelli by 33 with Democrats, Dodge by 7 with Republicans, and Dodge by 53 with independents.

If Snowe did get out of the Republican primary she leads by even wider margins in head to head match ups with the two Democrats. It's a 44 point lead over Cain at 64-20 and a 48 point lead over Scarcelli at 66-18. Snowe wins the Democratic vote even in a head to head with these Democrats- by 17 points over Cain and 22 points over Scarcelli- as well as cleaning up with the Republican and independent votes.

In the event that Snowe was taken out in the primary the match ups between the little known Republicans and the little known Democrats are close with high numbers of undecideds. Cain ties D'Amboise and leads Dodge by 2, while Scarcelli trails Dodge by 4 and D'Amboise by 7. Anywhere from 34-38% of voters aren't sure who they would vote for in each of those match ups.

If Snowe continues on as a Republican this is a race that an ambitious Democrat who doesn't have a ton to lose should really look at. Obviously if Snowe emerges as the Republican nominee you're going to lose and you're going to lose by a lot. If Snowe ends up running as an independent you're probably going to lose and you're probably going to lose by a lot. But if Snowe stays the course and gets taken out you might become Chris Coons- a guy who was willing to throw his name in the hat when it looked impossible and ended up coasting to an easy general election victory.

For Snowe there's a hard route to reelection and an easy one- it'll be interesting to see if she sticks with the hard one.

Full results here


RC said...

Can you please explain why you didn't include former Dem Gov John Baldacci in possible matchups against Snowe? The other Dems in your poll are not that well-known, hence their weak numbers. A strong well-known Dem would make the race much closer.

Tom Jensen said...

Baldacci left office as one of the most unpopular Governors in the country

Marvin said...

I don't understand why Democrats in Maine like Snowe so much. Sure she's good for a Republican, but she's not better than a Democrat. She stood in the way of a lot of important things.

Anonymous said...

The Dems should recruit Elliot Cutler, a former Dem who ran as an independent last Gov race.

IA re: Baldacci - he would not have been a plausible candidate. But, how about Michael Michaud?

I'm also surprised at the high Dem approval for Snowe. True in the past, but she campaigned hard this November for the generally despised by Dems teapartying new Gov of the state.

Kevin said...

She will almost certainly become an independent. It's only a matter of time.

Anonymous At Work said...

I think her numbers are softer than they appear and that an appropriate test of that hypothesis would be to run some 3-way hypotheticals including a 3rd party conservative candidate, such as in the NY-23 special election.
Additionally, the low numbers of the non-Snowe Republican vs. Democrat show that her numbers against a Democratic challenger might be more due to low name recognition by the challenger than support for her.

Anonymous said...

"Baldacci left office as one of the most unpopular Governors in the country"

You poll Schwarzenegger against Feinstein.

You poll Carcieri against Whitehouse.

You should poll also Baldacci, but worse still is not poll Snowe against Michaud or Chellie Pingree. And you decline also to poll LePage as republican teabagger (but you poll Kaine who officially is out the race).

No sense. The result of poll somedudes here was obvious.

Anonymous said...

This poll is a waste of time. Nothing interesting here.

It seems you are protecting Snowe of bad results.

William A. Jacobson said...

How is her best path to run as an Independent when your report (pdf.) says the following: "As PPP showed yesterday, Olympia Snowe may have a tough road surviving a primary if she chooses to run for re-election and fight for her place on the GOP ticket she has always called home. But whether she is the Republican nominee or
an independent, she should be easily elected to a fourth term.
As a Republican, Snowe would top state Rep. Emily Cain, 64-20, and businesswoman Rosa Scarcelli, 66-18. She takes 60-66% of independents and even 51-53% of Democrats in these matchups. If she is knocked off the GOP ballot line and makes an independent bid, Snowe would prevail with 54-57% of the vote over the four permutations of Cain, Scarcelli, and Republicans Scott D’Amboise and Andrew Ian

Doesn't that show just the opposite, that she does better in the general election as a Republican rather than an independent?

Dustin Ingalls said...

The clearest path is the path of least resistance. And she'll face plenty of resistance in the primary. Sure, if she survives it, she'll be in strong shape for the general as the GOP nominee, but she'll win by almost as much if she just runs as an independent.

Anonymous said...

lol why are people so surprised she receives so much support for democrats? She IS ONE!
She's a republican in name only; a typical RINO. The republicans are better off without her.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Baldacci make himself unpopular with his actions, he caused many to doubt the Democratic party as a whole. The Dems made further fatal mistakes in the gubernatorial campaign with some incredibly nasty mud-slinging, resented by many who donated to the Dems and who left the party in protest,against viable candidate independent Eliot Cutler. Cutler could have won, kept Paul Lepage out of the the governor's office, sparing us a backwards fall for the next 4 years, but the Democratic party intervened and created what can only be described as a big mess.

Anonymous said...

Baldacci was more popular than Schwarzenegger. And also Michaud.

If you give not results of Snowe as democrat you can not tell what is her best path to run... Why are you excluding she run as democrat when the highest favorable is between the democrats?

Really poor poll...

Anonymous said...

Last anonymous: I think you speak English not and understand politics not. This suit is black not.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious you want money for do a decent poll for Maine and Connecticut.

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