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Susan Collins May Be in Trouble

Maine GOP senator will face a tough Democratic opponent in next election
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2019 11:51 AM CDT
In this Dec. 5, 2018, photo, Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, arrives in the House Chamber after being re-elected speaker of the House, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
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(Newser) – Susan Collins has been a mainstay in the Senate for more than two decades, but it appears the Maine Republican will have the fight of her political life on her hands in the 2020 election. On Monday, Sara Gideon—the Democratic speaker of the state House—announced that she's running and instantly became the "most formidable" of Collins' opponents, per the New York Times. Collins is seen as a centrist, but Democrats say her support of President Trump—and particularly her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court—has turned her into a prime target in the upcoming election. Gideon, 47, emphasized the point in her campaign video. The Kavanaugh vote "put women's control over their own health care decisions in extreme jeopardy,” she said.

"At one point maybe she was different than some of the other folks in Washington," Gideon said of Collins. "But she doesn't seem that way anymore." At CNN, analyst Chris Cillizza thinks Collins should be worried. Yes, she'll get the full support of her party, and, yes, she has a long history of defeating highly touted Democratic opponents, but he thinks this race feels different. "Democratic strategists always struggled to prove—beyond any reasonable doubt—that Collins was more aligned with national Republicans than she let on," writes Cillizza. The Kavanaugh vote gives them that opportunity. "There's reason to believe 2020 poses a challenge Collins has never seen before—and that might be too much even for her." Prominent Mainer Stephen King sure thinks so, notes the Hill. (Read more Susan Collins stories.)

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