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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Sen. Susan Collins

With 43 days to go before the November elections, it appears that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is in major trouble. She has trailed Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon, her Democratic opponent, in every major poll since the start of July.

On Monday, Suffolk University and the Boston Globe released a poll that found Gideon leading Collins by five points, 46 percent to 41 percent. When taking into account Maine's ranked-choice voting system, Gideon's lead is even higher. Among those planning to vote for a candidate other than those two, Gideon was the second choice of 48 percent, Collins of just 19 percent


Sabato's Crystal Ball, an election forecast done by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, announced Monday that it had moved the race from "toss-up" to "leans Democratic." The change, they explained, recognized "a consistent stream of public polls showing [Collins] trailing and the unique electoral structure of her race."

According to FiveThirtyEight, Gideon has now been ahead in every poll since a lone National Republican Senatorial Committee internal poll, taken in late June, showed Collins leading.

Gideon was favored by voters in surveys by Citizen Data, Colby College, Critical Insights, Data for Progress, Fabrizio Ward/Hart Research Associates, Public Policy Polling, Quinnipiac University, RMG Research, and Siena College/The New York Times Upshot.

An average of polls calculated by RealClear Politics — not including the newest poll — puts Gideon ahead by 6.2 points.

Monday's Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll also found Biden leading Donald Trump in Maine by a 51 percent to 39 percent margin — a huge problem for the Republican incumbent senator.

While Collins has refused to state publicly whether she will support Trump's reelection because of her own "difficult race," she has voted with him more than two-thirds of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight's tracker. That included votes to give lifetime appointments to the vast majority of Trump's more than 200 judicial nominees — including Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — and to pass Trump's unpopular tax cuts for rich people and corporations.

The results in the Maine Senate race could have huge national implications for 2021 and beyond. Republicans, when including Collins, currently enjoy a 53-47 majority in the Senate. That means Democrats need just a net gain of four seats in November (or three seats and a Joe Biden win) to regain control of the chamber.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.