Senator Susan Collins (R – Me) has held her seat since 1996. She is now campaigning for a fifth term, though many observers believe she is vulnerable to the Democratic Party’s candidate, who will likely be Sara Gideon.
Collins and Controversy:
Collins has a reputation for bucking the national leadership of the Republican Party, and this includes defiance of Republican Presidents. She confirmed this reputation in 2017, when she opposed the repeal of Obamacare, which had been a central campaign promise of President Trump during the campaign the previous year. Due in part to her vote, the essential health-insurance structure created by President Obama’s signature legislation remains in place to this day.
The vote that may give her the most trouble this fall, though, is not one where she opposed President Trump but where she did follow his lead. She voted in favor of the confirmation of Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court in October 2018, despite an accusation that Kavanaugh had attempted to rape a female acquaintance in the summer of 1982.
The Thing to Know:
On June 24, 2019, Gideon announced that she will be running to replace Collins. She received more than one million dollars in contributions within a single week, largely on the strength of the bitterness generated by the Kavanaugh confirmation controversy.