Maine Poll: King A Strong Favorite In Senate Race, Same-Sex Marriage Law Likely To Pass

Former Maine Gov. Angus King is a strong favorite to succeed outgoing Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Maine voters appear poised to pass a referendum legalizing same-sex marriage, according to a poll released Monday.

The latest survey from MassInc Polling Group shows King, who served as governor from 1995-2003 and is running as an independent, with the support of 50 percent of likely voters — far outpacing Republican secretary of state Charlie Summers and Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Dill.  Summers claims the support of 23 percent, while Dill lags behind with only 9 percent.  King has not specified with which party he will caucus if elected, but he has endorsed President Barack Obama.  Snowe surprised many in February when she announced that she will not seek re-election.

The poll also shows 55 percent of voters support a referendum to legalize marriage between gay and lesbian couples, while only 36 percent oppose the proposed law.  If passed, the referendum will provide marriage licenses for same-sex couples without requiring any religion or clergy to perform a ceremony that would violate their religious doctrine.  In 2009, Maine voters repealed a law legalizing same-sex marriage.