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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

New Polls Hint at Scrambled 2012 Map

photo of Steven Shepard
October 27, 2011

Arizona and Maine were not particularly competitive in 2008, but two new polls released Wednesday show that both states could be in play in 2012.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., carried his home state by nine points three years ago. But President Obama holds a five-point lead (45 percent to 40 percent) in the Grand Canyon State over his closest GOP competitor, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a poll from the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center.

McCain was able to keep Arizona out of the swing-state column by overperforming among Hispanic voters -- a growing part of the state's electorate -- by about 10 points, comparing exit polls in the state with those nationwide.


Meanwhile, Obama carried Maine by a whopping 18 points in 2008, but a poll from Critical Insights in Portland shows he and Romney in a virtual tie, with the president leading by a just a single point, 41 percent to 40 percent.

Likely voters in Maine have soured on Obama, with just 43 percent saying that they have a favorable opinion of him, according to the poll.

The Arizona poll was conducted Oct. 13-24, surveying 581 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.1 percent.

The Maine poll was conducted Oct. 18-23, surveying 600 likely voters in Maine. The margin of error is +/- 4.0 percent.

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