A new independent poll shows Democrat Sara Gideon with a 7 percentage-point lead over Republican Sen. Susan Collins with the U.S. Senate race in Maine in its final weeks.

The poll, conducted by Portland-based Pan Atlantic Research, a market research and consulting firm that regularly polls on public policy and other issues, surveyed 600 registered Maine voters online between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

In the Senate race, 46.9 percent of voters supported Gideon and 39.8 percent supported Collins. The two independents in the race, Lisa Savage and Max Linn, polled at 4.9 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Undecided voters made up 6.4 percent.

The poll is the latest to show Gideon, the Maine House speaker, with a lead on Collins. A Bangor Daily News/Digital Research poll released last week gave Gideon a 1 percentage-point lead while several other polls this season have shown her ahead by 4 to 5 points.

In the presidential race, Democrat Joe Biden led Republican Donald Trump 50.3 percent to 39.7 percent. Other candidates received 6.2 percent support while 3.8 percent of voters were undecided.

Democrats were also leading in both of Maine’s congressional districts. In the 1st District, the poll showed Rep. Chellie Pingree with a lead of 54.5 percent to 34.8 percent for challenger Jay Allen. Second District U.S. Rep. Jared Golden led Republican Dale Crafts by a margin of 60.4 percent to 32.7 percent. The sample sizes in the congressional districts were 300 voters.

The poll also asked voters about the issues that matter most to them and how favorably they view elected officials in Maine and nationally. The three most important issues voters identified were the COVID-19 pandemic, health access and insurance coverage and jobs/employment.

Almost 50 percent listed the pandemic, 43.3 percent cited health care and 40.4 percent named jobs and employment.

More than 58 percent of respondents said they have an unfavorable view of Trump, while only 41.3 percent said they view him favorably.

For Democrat Gov. Janet Mills, 59.8 percent said they have a favorable view compared to 38 percent unfavorable.

More than 54 percent said they have an unfavorable view of Collins, while 43.9 percent said they view her favorably.

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