Ahead of next Tuesday’s primary election, a new poll shows many Maine residents are extremely motivated to vote and reveals the issues that matter most to them.
More than 90% of Maine voters said they would be more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who supports protecting Medicare and Social Security from cuts.
Noel Bonam, state director of AARP Maine, which commissioned the poll, noted that 88% of voters over 50 said they plan to vote in this midterm election, and said that it was a big problem because usually the voter turnout is low in mid-term elections.
“A lot of people are really concerned about the rising cost of everything,” Bonam observed. “Inflation has really come out as the number one issue across the board. People are very concerned about rising costs, they have to figure out how to pay for food, gas, utilities and prescription drugs. .”
He added that with the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, many older Mainers are taking seriously the issue of allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Of voters polled, 91% said they thought the federal government should allow negotiations.
Among respondents, 60% said they planned to vote on Election Day, 12% said they would vote early in person, and 22% said they planned to vote by mail. Bonam pointed out that for more information, voters can go to the Secretary of State’s website or aarp.org/mevotes.
“We want older voters to know how to vote and where to vote,” Bonam explained. “And knowing where candidates stand before they vote. And it’s also clear that older voters are looking for candidates who come to the table with solutions and don’t just talk about the problems.”
Governor Janet Mills narrowly leads her Republican opponent, former Governor Paul LePage, 51% to 46%, according to the poll. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from District Two, narrowly leads former Rep. Bruce Poliquin 50 percent to 43 percent, and First District Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree leads Republican opponent Ed Thelander 42 percent to 25 percent.
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