Nearly Three-Quarters of Voters in CD-1 Are Open to Independent Candidates for U.S. House, Governor

Polls finds ranked choice voting system will boost independendent
U.S. House candidate Marty Grohman

PORTLAND, ME –– A new poll of registered voters in Maine’s 1st Congressional District found significant support for independent candidates in the 2018 elections. The poll also found that Maine’s new system of ranked choice voting will boost independent candidate and incumbent independent State Representative Marty Grohman in the general election.


Nearly three-quarters of voters said they would be open to supporting independent candidates for U.S. House (74%) and Governor (73%) –– including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. A super-majority (67%) of voters believe Maine’s tradition of electing independent candidates to office has been positive for the state.

“In an environment of tremendous dissatisfaction with politics as usual and both political parties, voters are looking for alternatives and are ready to support common-sense, independent candidates,” said Nick Troiano, Executive Director of Unite America, a national, non-partisan organization that supports independent candidates for public office. “Based on this poll, we believe that candidates like State Treasurer Terry Hayes and State Rep. Marty Grohman have clear and compelling paths to victory this November, especially as voters get to know them.”

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Election for U.S. House (CD-1)

In Maine’s 1st Congressional District, independent state Representative Marty Grohman is running against incumbent Democrat Chellie Pingree and Republican Mark Holbrook.

The nearly three-quarters of voters (74%) who said they would be open to supporting an independent candidate for U.S. House of Representatives included 64% of Republicans, 61% of Democrats, and 98% of independent voters.

A plurality of voters (47%) agreed that sending an independent to Washington would improve the way government works. In open-ended responses, voters expressed that an independent leader could bring common sense and new ideas, have the ability to work across the aisle, and gain influence as a swing vote in Congress.

More than a quarter of voters (27%) said they are more likely to support independent Marty Grohman because of Maine’s new ranked choice voting system, which eliminates the possibility of an independent candidate playing the role of “spoiler” by ensuring a winner with majority support. The ranked choice voting system will only be used in federal elections in the general election.

Election for Maine Governor

In the contest for Governor, independent State Treasurer Terry Hayes and independent Alan Caron are running against Democrat Janet Mills and Republican Shawn Moody.

The nearly three-quarters of voters (73%) who said they would be open to supporting an independent candidate for U.S. House of Representatives included 55% of Republicans, 67% of Democrats, and 98% of independent voters.

A majority of voters (59%) believe elected leaders in Augusta mostly serve their political parties and the special interests, rather than the people.

At the same time, a majority of voters agreed that an independent Governor can represent all the people and not just those from their party (59%), find common ground between both parties and bridge the partisan divide (56%), and would not be beholden to the party bosses and special interests (55%).

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About the Poll

The poll was released today by the Unite America Election Fund and was conducted by Triton Polling & Research based on live interviews to both landlines and cell phones with 442 voters in Maine’s 1st Congressional District between July 5 and July 10, 2018, with a margin of error at +/- 4.7%. A full memo is available here.

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Unite America is a citizens movement to bridge the growing partisan divide by electing common sense, independent candidates to office. More information: www.UniteAmerica.org.


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