July 27, 2021

Susan Collins is caught in an impossible dilemma

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) seemed invincible for the past 2½ decades. The longest-serving Republican senator from a traditionally blue state, she’s been reelected three times, each by double-digit margins. She has refused to toe the party line on some big issues — from health care to Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation — and, unlike many other GOP senators, lived to tell the tale.

But in 2020, Collins looks deeply vulnerable for reasons that say a great deal about how her party, and American voters as a whole, are changing.

The numbers are stark: According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls conducted in Maine, Collins trails Democratic challenger Sara Gideon by four percentage points, and the latest fundraising reports show Gideon strongly outraising Collins in their 2020 race. Worse yet, 45 percent of Mainers viewed Collins negatively in a September Suffolk University poll.

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