Republican governor Paul LePage of Maine has a slight lead over his Democratic challenger, House member Mike Michaud, according to a new poll of the race. Here's more from the Portland Press-Herald:

The poll of 400 Maine residents by the Portland-based Pan Atlantic SMS Group shows LePage with a 1.3 percentage-point lead over Michaud, 38.6 percent to 37.3 percent, and independent Eliot Cutler trailing with 20.3 percent.

The poll’s margin of error is 4.9 percentage points, meaning it shows LePage and Michaud in a virtual tie about seven months before the election.

LePage is clearly benefitting from the independent candidacy of Cutler, who also ran for governor in 2010. That year, Cutler actually outperfomed the Democratic candidate, giving LePage the opening to win a narrow victory.
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