What is going to happen in the 2020 Maine Senate race? Aside from one candidate winning, that is?
What we do know prior to the election is that this is poised to be the most difficult election Susan Collins has faced. Even when elected in 1996 for the first time, defeating former governor Joseph Brennan, that was a five-point win. 24 years later, she now trails in the polls and Democrats, looking to take back the Senate for the first time in six years, are out to knock off this long-time moderate Republican senator.
Collins drew Sara Gideon, the speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives. Please note that the senator has faced tough opposition before and beaten it back without a problem. In 1996, Collins defeated a former governor. 2002 saw her beat the majority leader of the State Senate, who is now a congresswoman. 2008 was a victory for a third term over Tom Allen, then the 1st District congressman. Only in 2014, a good Republican year, did she not draw name-brand opposition. What makes this race so different?
Our video should help set the state for the 2020 Maine Senate race.
The 2020 Maine Senate Race in 2 Minutes
2020 Candidates for Maine US Senate
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|Susan Collins (R)||Incumbent US Senator (1997-)|
|Sara Gideon (D)||Speaker, Maine House of Representatives (2016-)|
|Max Linn (I)||Financial planner|
|Lisa Savage (I)||Teacher and environmental activist|
The Lowdown on the Maine Senate Race
Collins has not changed as a senator very much in the past almost quarter-century. She has always been a moderate Republican. Were she to be re-elected, she will continue on as a moderate Republican. The state’s politics have not really changed, either. Maine is still a state that elects moderates, liberals, and even the occasional conservative like Paul LePage. Collins has been close to straight up the middle of Maine’s political compass for most of her senatorial career.
The difference now is that Donald Trump is president, she has backed him on some key votes, and the Republican brand is suffering there. Collins is being actively tied to Trump in an effort to anchor her down. Regardless of whatever positive characteristics Gideon may or may not bring to the table, it is apparently working. This is why she is going to have trouble holding her seat (prediction: Democratic gain, weak lean), but take care not to count her out. Maine does some weird things when it comes to politics, and this is still a close race, so assume she is “done” at your own peril.