This piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer is very interesting, both for the outside perspective it gives on Governor Paul LePage and Maine’s 2014 gubernatorial race and for this tidbit from Brent Littlefield (an adviser who works for both the governor’s campaign and the closely-linked pro-LePage organization Maine People Before Politics):
“LePage’s more recent private polling shows his approval rating above 50 percent, and he is leading likely opponents, political adviser Brent Littlefield said.”
If true, this would be a surprising result. No public poll since his election in 2010 has shown LePage’s job approval rating above 50%. The highest it has been is 44% in one MPRC poll in November, 2011 (although that was of likely referendum election voters) and 44% again on a Pan Atlantic SMS poll last spring. All other public independent polling has shown lower numbers. Two recent internal polls from organizations that aren’t exactly friendly with the Governor have shown him tied with or running behind Congressman Mike Michaud, his likely Democratic opponent in November.
Littlefield also tweeted at FiveThirtyEight blogger Micah Cohen after he wrote this post describing LePage as one of the most vulnerable incumbent governors in 2014. Littlefield claimed that Cohen had “bad ##’s on LePage” and that “His ##’s are healthy.”
Contacted by email, Littlefield declined to provide any further information on LePage’s internal polling.
Update: I’ve been reminded that LePage had a 47% approval rating on a Critical Insights poll in October of 2011, also of likely referendum voters.