|Governor of Maine, 2010|
|Independent||Eliot R. Cutler||35.9%||208,270|
|Independent||Shawn H. Moody||5.0%||28,756|
|Independent||Kevin L. Scott||1.0%||5,664|
|Official Election Results Via: Maine Secretary of State.
* "Blank" evidently also includes all spoilage types, e.g. overvoting, combined.
We studied the next (2014) Maine governor election in much greater detail. However, this 2010 race also was a pathological race ruined by Maine's plurality voting system, and – just like in the 2014 race – Cutler should have won, but was prevented from winning because of the voting system. Cutler was by far the most popular candidate, and LePage won despite the fact that a majority of Maine voters didn't like him. 51% of them had an unfavorable opinion of LePage versus only 42% who saw him in a positive light according to a PPP approval-style poll 26-28 October 2010 of 1812 likely voters:
Approval Voting (Fav/Unfav): Eliot Cutler 46/33 Paul LePage 42/51 Libby Mitchell 31/56
Similarly in the PanAtlantic/SMS "omnibus poll" 11-15 October 2010 (501 likely voters, phone) the results were
Approval Voting (Fav/Unfav): Eliot Cutler 43.2 / 21.2 Libby Mitchell 45.3 / 42.5 Paul LePage 41.3 / 47.5 Shawn Moody 30.3 / 16.6 Kevin Scott 8.2 / 18.4
In the words of that PPP poll's summary,
Cutler is easily the most popular candidate in the race, with 46% of voters seeing him positively to only 33% with an unfavorable opinion. His problem is that a lot of people who like him aren't planning to vote for him. Among voters with a favorable opinion of Cutler only 56% actually plan to vote for him while 21% are going for LePage and 18% plan to support Mitchell. To put it in comparison 87% of voters who like LePage are also planning to cast their ballots for him, which is why he's beating Cutler by such a wide margin despite being less popular.
It seems virtually certain that if Mitchell had dropped out, Cutler would have defeated LePage (since Dem. voters, as is shown by the "crosstabs" in the PPP poll, preferred Cutler over LePage by a large margin). The plurality system gave no way for voters to express their feelings about all 3 candidates.
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