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NEW: Cook Political Report shifts Maine Senate race towards Dems to “Toss-Up”

The Cook Political Report today shifted the Maine Senate race in Democrats’ direction, from “Lean Republican” to “Toss-Up.” Their analysis highlighted Senator Susan Collins’ record in Washington as well as Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon’s impressive legislative achievements and strong fundraising. This is the latest in a string of bad news for the vulnerable incumbent, who has continued to lose support among Mainers and seen her net approval drop by a “stunning” amount since President Trump took office – “the biggest decline of anyone in the Senate.” As her support has cratered and her disapproval rating has spiked, Collins is now ranked the second-most unpopular Senator after only Mitch McConnell by Morning Consult.  

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Cook Political Report: Maine Senate: Bottom Line

By Jennifer E. Duffy

August 16, 2019

Key Points:

  • While Democrats almost always put Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Susan Collins on their list of targets, the truth is that the closest race she’s had was her first Senate run in 1996 when she prevailed by five points.  Democrats argue that this cycle will be different. They say that Collins’ vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has left her very vulnerable and has decimated her image as a moderate consensus builder.
  • Gideon gets high marks for working with new Democratic Gov. Janet Mills to shepherd a number of progressive bills through the legislature.  Gideon announced her candidacy just days before the June 30 FEC deadline yet managed to raise just over $1 million.
  • [I]t’s a good bet that…  [Gideon] has lots of room to grow. This could well end up being one of the closest Senate contests of the cycle and is in the Toss Up column.

Read more about why Collins is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in 2020:

  • Boston Globe: ‘The Maine electorate has had it with her’: Constituents turn on Susan Collins
  • Vox: “Maine voters like Pam Cunningham are Sen. Susan Collins’s worst nightmare.”
  • New York Times: Susan Collins, a Fixture in Maine, Has Twin Troubles: Trump and Kavanaugh
  • Washington Post: In the Trump era, Sen. Susan Collins’s declaration as a New England moderate is challenged
  • Bloomberg: Susan Collins Faces Re-Election as Standing Erodes in Trump Era
  • Daily Beast: How Susan Collins Became the Senate’s Most Vulnerable Republican
  • Roll Call: Susan Collins has a 2020 problem

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