Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins can’t take her re-election for granted this November. In the wake of her repeated recent decisions to fall in line with the national GOP party line, her support in her home state, where she’s up for re-election this year in what may be the most competitive race in her political career, is dwindling. One recent poll even had Democratic Senate primary frontrunner (and state House speaker) Sara Gideon with a small margin more support than Collins. At a recent annual sled dog race that doubles as a community gathering event, Collins faced some of voters’ growing sentiments against her candidacy.
In an interview, Gideon herself noted, in reference to Collins:
‘What we have seen is a country that has changed around her and a world that has changed around her, and that the decisions that she makes are now laid very bare. There is not this place to just say ‘I am thinking about things’ or ‘making decisions based on all of the evidence available’ when what is at stake is so stark and obvious to all of us.’
Some of those recent decisions that she’s made that haven’t exactly won her a lot of supporters include her vote to confirm the credibly accused sexual predator Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, where some fear that he could work to roll back abortion rights, and her more recent decision to acquit President Donald Trump at the end of his impeachment trial, no matter the evidence against him. Collins glibly suggested that Trump had “learned his lesson” and thus didn’t need to be convicted — but within days, he fired officials who’d testified against him, and his team continues to stick by the Biden investigation scheme that originally drove the impeachment proceedings. He learned no “lesson.”
One voter at that sled dog race — 31-year-old Nicole Rogers, who works as a forestry professor at the University of Maine — shared her frustrations:
‘I don’t think she’s doing what’s in Maine’s best interest anymore. I think she’s following party lines and I’m interested in someone who has new opinions. Maybe I’m just more polarized. But I need someone who does what’s right, and right now our opinions don’t align on what’s right.’
Collins was aghast at those who’ve fallen away from her campaign, as if she just hasn’t been watching the news. She commented:
‘I don’t even understand that argument. I am doing exactly the same thing I’ve always done. I’ve always cast votes with an eye to how they affect the state of Maine and our country. I think Mainers will look at my record, remember who I am and where I’m from.’
By the numbers, in that poll that gave Gideon a slight edge, a full 56 percent of women reported an unfavorable view of the Senator, which doesn’t exactly bode well for her re-election chances. The race is already shaping up to be an expensive one — more than $5.8 million in ads have already been dished out against Collins, while Collins’s side has already spent more than $2 million and counting on their own ads. Among her supposed strengths, Collins said, is that her family has lived in Maine for generations — as if she expects voters to just fall in line for misshapen identity politics alone and check their personal values at the door.
She’s one of three current Republican Senators who the Cook Political Report suggests could easily lose their seat this year. Races rated as toss-ups include Collins, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, and Arizona’s Martha McSally.