Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up'

The Cook Political Report shifted its forecast of the Maine Senate election from "lean Republican" to "toss-up" on Friday, signaling a tight reelection race for Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsHouse passes bill to begin scenic byways renaissance Senators say Trump open to expanding background checks Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (R).

Collins won her last reelection bid in 2014 by more than 30 points but is expected to face a much tighter race this time around, with the leader of the state's House of Representatives, Sara Gideon (D), announcing she would challenge the four-term senator.

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A press release Friday from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) claimed that the incumbent senator's support had cratered in the state following her confirmation vote for Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration The crosshairs of extremism  New York City to end ban on gay conversion therapy to avoid Supreme Court fight MORE last year, a controversial vote that Democrats argue pushed her outside the label of "moderate."

"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 TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE took office," the DSCC said in a press release, quoting a Morning Consult analysis.

The senator defended her vote to confirm Kavanaugh last month in an interview with The New York Times, telling the newspaper she did not regret her vote "in the least."

Gideon, meanwhile, hammered Collins for the vote in her campaign announcement earlier this year.

“At one point, maybe Sen. Collins was different, but she doesn’t seem that way anymore: taking over a million dollars from drug companies and the insurance industry and voting to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court,” Gideon said.

Collins's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign (NRSC) told The Hill in a statement that Gideon was "plagued by scandal," and characterized Gideon's primary opponent Betsy Sweet as "too liberal."

“Susan Collins has the most bipartisan record in the U.S. Senate because she works with members of both parties to deliver results for Maine families. She is in a strong position because voters know that Collins is an independent voice for Maine, while Sara Gideon is plagued with scandal and Betsy Sweet is too liberal," Nathan Brand said.

Little polling exists of the 2020 Maine Senate race so far, but a Gravis poll taken in June indicated that Collins had a 14-point lead over Gideon.