Lesson of the election: Mainers want a progressive economic agenda

Newly released poll by Lake Research Partners shows Mainers oppose failed trickle-down policies

November 13, 2018

Mario Moretto, Communications Director
(207) 620-1101

MECEP staff is available for comment about the policy implications of last week’s election. Contact Mario Moretto to schedule an interview, or to connect with pollsters at Lake Research Partners about the newly released polling memo.

AUGUSTA, Maine – With the elections over, Maine’s new Legislature and governor can seize the opportunity of this moment to enact a bold, people-powered economic agenda to move Maine forward.

While much of the analysis of the election has been and will be about political parties and partisan politics, there are deeper economic policy undercurrents at play. Mainers across the state endorsed candidates who advocated for good schools, affordable and accessible health care, workforce training and infrastructure investments necessary to keep Maine’s economy moving.

Mainers also understand the relationships between tax policy, jobs and a strong economy.

The results of a poll conducted on behalf of MECEP by Lake Research Partners reveal that Mainers are skeptical of the trickle-down economic policies that have dominated policy debates in Washington and Augusta.

For example, a plurality of respondents opposed the Trump tax cuts approved by Congress last year, and 56 percent said they had not seen any personal benefit from the tax cuts.

Mainers also reject the Legislature’s handling of the voter-approved law to fund education with a surcharge on income over $200,000, with 60 percent of Mainers saying they opposed the Legislature’s decision to repeal the law in 2017 and 56 percent saying they wanted the surcharge reinstated.

Other key findings in the poll include:

  • Most Mainers believe the wealthy and big corporations pay less than their fair share in taxes, and a plurality believes poor Mainers pay more than their fair share.
  • Three out of four Mainers want investment income and income from the stock market to be taxed at least as much as workers’ wages.
  • Mainers share a broad consensus that education, quality of life and workforce training are more important to job creation than tax cuts.


“Mainers know the ingredients to a strong economy. We have voted for increased wages to boost the economy from the bottom up. We’ve approved laws to fund education because we know it’s critical that every Mainer receives a solid foundation, so they can succeed. We’ve voted for policies and candidates that would increase access to high-quality, affordable health care, which supports Maine’s families and Maine’s economy. And we’ve called for robust, modern infrastructure such as broadband and clean water systems, which create the conditions for economic growth.”

“Those are the policies that support jobs and families. But unpopular tax cuts that have given most of their benefits to the wealthiest households and largest businesses have made it harder for us to make the investments necessary for our families and our economy to succeed. Mainers know these tax cuts make it harder to keep our economy moving. This month’s elections create an opportunity to get back on track.”

The polling memo by Lake Research Partners can be found online, here