Collins, King rank among most popular U.S. senators in poll

Maine really likes its U.S. senators, according to a national survey from Morning Consult.

Susan Collins, a Republican, scored an approval rating of 78 percent in a poll of 654 Mainers, the second-highest mark in the country, only behind independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who received an 83 percent rating.

Independent Angus King’s mark wasn’t too shabby, either: His approval rating of 65 percent among Mainers was good for 10th place among all U.S. senators in the survey, which polled nearly 77,000 voters between May and November.

These scores were higher than other recent marks: Collins was measured at 61 percent job approval and King at 49 percent in a recent Critical Insights poll.

While the senators fared well in Morning Consult’s poll, Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, wasn’t so lucky. He registered an approval rating of just 39 percent, which was fourth worst among his gubernatorial peers.


Will we learn more about possible plans for a Katahdin-area monument?

Speaking of Collins, she’ll will be in Lewiston on Tuesday for a tour of the city’s riverfront for a discussion of the city’s Riverfront Island Master Plan, a roadmap to redeveloping much of the area along the Androscoggin River around the Bates Mill Complex.

Collins is expected to take questions from the media after a walking tour with Mayor Robert Macdonald and other city officials.

It comes a day after a big announcement from Collins, King and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a 2nd District Republican: They said President Barack Obama is considering using his authority to create a national monument in the Katahdin region, which they told him in a lengthy letter has caused them to have “serious reservations.”

The White House declined comment on the letter on Monday, but maybe we’ll find out more from Collins today. — Michael Shepherd


Rally to support Syrian refugees set for Wednesday in Augusta

A group of activists say they’ll be outside the Blaine House and State House on Wednesday afternoon “for a vigil to express welcome to and solidarity with Syrian and other refugees fleeing war and oppression.”

The rally, announced by Resources for Organizing and Social Change in Augusta, is in response to Gov. Paul LePage’s announcement last week that he’ll oppose any effort to settle Syrian refugees in Maine.

The Republican joined a majority of governors in that position, but because the federal government controls immigration, their position is largely symbolic.

It follows criticism of LePage from the Maine Council of Churches, which sent a letter to the governor on Friday saying it “strongly decries” his pronouncement and “we must not compound the tragedy of this week’s attacks by making refugees and Muslims the target of violent rhetoric in a backlash of hatred.” — Michael Shepherd


Reading list

Climate talk at Allagash Brewing tonight

Nothing says Portland, Maine, quite like a climate change discussion in a craft brewery.

That’s what will happen today at 6 p.m., when Portland Mayor-elect Ethan Strimling and groups including Environment Maine and the Sierra Club will have a public discussion at Allagash Brewing Company.

They’ll “discuss what Portland and communities across Maine are doing to address climate change, and can be doing more of” ahead of international climate talks in Paris this month, according to a press release from Environment Maine. — Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.