Are Maine Republicans more moderate than their cousins in Ohio, or Florida, or even Illinois?
Don't bet on it. This PPP poll surveying attitudes toward long time incumbent senator Olympia Snowe shows huge dissatisfaction with her stance on issues, and that a good conservative might very well be able to unseat her in a primary:
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.
Snowe's incumbency will make her tough to beat. But it appears from those numbers that Maine Republicans have just about had enough of Snowe's wayward wanderings and may be ready to toss her under the bus.