Poll Shows Maine Bear Referendum In Trouble

The Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights groups have been campaigning for a ballot proposal that would ban the use of baiting, dogs and traps by bear hunters in Maine. The HSUS apparently thought ballot proposal would be a slam dunk, but a September poll by Zogby International found widespread opposition to the proposal.

In a poll of 400 likely Maine voters, 52 percent said they would vote against the ban compared to 35 percent who said they would vote for the ban. Fourteen percent of those surveyed by Zogby said they remained undecided.

HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle suggested the poll was simply wrong since polls done by HSUS in 2001 and 2003 in Maine found solid majorities in favor of a ban on bear baiting. Pacelle told the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, which paid for the poll,

I’ve helped oversee 20 (state) ballot measures across the country and I wouldn’t see (such a change) in advance of the campaign advertisements.

However, an early October poll by Strategic Marketing Services comissioned by the newspaper produced similar results — 50 percent opposed to the measure, 33 percent in support and 17 percent undecided.

The full text of the proposed ban can be read here.


Opposition to tax cap increases, poll finds . Portland Press Herald, October 6, 2004.

Activists surprised by views on bear hunt. Dierdre Fleming, Portland Press Herald, September 12, 2004.

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