November 17, 2021 (Augusta, ME) — A new public opinion survey completed since Election Day shows that most Maine voters want Central Maine Power (CMP) to stop all clearing of trees in western Maine to honor the will of Maine voters. A strong majority also supports having the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) order CMP to stop work on the project by suspending its permit.
The survey of 408 Maine people who voted in the November 2nd election was conducted November 11-14, 2021, by Beacon Research. It provides the first post-election insight into why Mainers voted 59% to 41% in support of Question 1. The survey has a +/- 5 percentage point margin of error at the 95% level of confidence.
Poll results show that mistrust of CMP led the reasons why Mainers voted yes on Question 1, followed by concern about how little Maine households would get relative to the billions in profit foreign corporations would receive.
- By 64% to 28%, respondents want CMP to stop work on the corridor, with 8% undecided. Notably, this margin is larger than the final vote results.
- By 61% to 29%, respondents support having the DEP order CMP to stop work on the project by suspending its permit.
- By 62% to 30%, Maine voters oppose a lawsuit filed by CMP’s parent company, Avangrid, against the State of Maine and Maine Legislature to block Question 1 from becoming law
The survey also showed that 47% of Maine voters support a proposed ballot measure to replace investor-owned utilities with consumer-owned utilities that are locally controlled and consumer-owned, with 22% opposed and 31% undecided. Forty-six percent of voters say that CMP’s continued construction of the corridor despite the outcome of Question 1 make them more supportive of a consumer-owned utility model.
The survey crosstab data reveals by demographic group additional details about why Mainers supported Question 1 and the breadth and depth of opposition to actions by CMP and Avangrid since the election:
- Young voters 18-34 years old are especially opposed to CMP’s behavior.
- 86% think CMP should stop all clearing of trees now in western Maine to honor the will of Maine voters
- 88% support DEP ordering CMP to stop work by suspending the permit
- 74% oppose the effort by Avangrid to block Question 1 from becoming law
- 83% voted yes on Question 1
- Independent voters are firmly opposed to CMP’s continued construction and supportive of the DEP suspending the permit.
- 67% believe CMP should stop clearing trees now to honor the will of Maine voters (compared to 62% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans)
- 66% support DEP ordering CMP to stop work by suspending the permit (compared with 60% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans)
- 70% oppose the effort by Avangrid to block Question 1 from becoming law (compared with 60% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans)
- 68% voted yes on Question 1
- Distrust of CMP is very strong among voters in 8 of Maine’s 16 counties along the Midcoast and West Central Maine.
- 95% in Midcoast Maine (Waldo, Lincoln, Knox, and Sagadahoc Counties) stated that distrust of CMP was a “very high priority” for why they supported Question 1
- 85% in West Central Maine (Oxford, Franklin, Kennebec, and Androscoggin Counties) stated that distrust of CMP was a “very high priority” for why they supported Question 1
- 84% in Midcoast Maine said that the concern that foreign corporations will make billions while the average Maine household will get very little was a “very high priority” for why they supported Question 1