It’s been clear for a long time now that Maine Republicans want to swap out Olympia Snowe for someone more conservative. Our newest poll in the state finds that hasn’t changed: only 33% of primary voters in the state say they would support Snowe next year to 58% who prefer a generic ‘more conservative candidate.’
The gripe with Snowe is pretty straight forward. 58% of primary voters think she’s too liberal to 37% who think she’s ideologically where she should be. Most GOP voters don’t really think Snowe belongs in their party- 34% think she ought to be an independent, 33% think she should be a Democrat, and only 27% feel that the GOP is indeed her rightful place.
Snowe’s approval rating with Republican primary voters is a narrowly positive 47/44 spread. It may seem surprising that her generic reelect numbers are so bad when she’s above ground on approval but to keep those numbers in perspective Lisa Murkowski’s approval with Republicans in January of 2010 was 77/13 and Mike Castle’s in March of 2009 at an identical point in the cycle was 69/24. Their far superior numbers didn’t prevent them from being taken out by the Tea Party.
Steve and I interviewed one of Snowe’s Tea Party challengers in 2012, Andrew Ian Dodge, last week on Conservative Republican Forum. Although the conventional wisdom regarding entrenched incumbents is that it’s a nearly impossible task to unseat them, this poll clearly shows the opportunity is there for the right candidate with the right message and organization. Of course, it takes beaucoup bucks to win, so if you like what you hear in our interview, consider donating to Dodge’s campaign.
UPDATE: Dodge was also featured on National Review today.