Gov. Janet Mills and former Gov. Paul LePage

Gov. Janet Mills led former Gov. Paul LePage by the widest margin yet in their high-profile November race, according to a poll released Friday.

The Emerson College survey pegged the Democratic governor’s support at 53 percent to 41 percent for her Republican opponent in the survey of 1,164 likely Maine voters conducted this week by phone and online. The poll had an error margin of 2.8 percentage points.

Mills and LePage were polling closely in the spring when Republicans looked to be dominating the national electoral landscape in a midterm year for the unpopular President Joe Biden.

Results for Democrats have improved since the June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to end federal abortion rights.

The economy is dominating the list of concerns for Maine voters, with 39 percent calling it their. top issue in the survey. Threats to democracy and abortion access were next at 19 percent and 16 percent, respectively. The partisan divides on that subject are marking the election so far.

For example, 69 percent of those who say the economy is their top issue are voting for LePage. But 98 percent of those who say abortion is their top issue said they were voting for Mills, as are 78 percent who noted threats to democracy as the top issue.

Women also looked set to decide this election, breaking for Mills with 57 percent of votes to 37 percent for LePage, who led narrowly among men. The poll also showed 59 percent of Mainers expect Mills to be re-elected while 41 percent expect LePage to win.

It is the second poll released this week to show Mills with a wider lead on LePage. The other came from the liberal Maine People’s Resource Center. The state has gotten far less attention from pollsters this year than it did in 2020, when U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, won her 2020 election despite trailing Democrat Sara Gideon in every public survey.

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...