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 CollinsGOP confident of win on witnesses Republicans signal renewed confidence they'll avoid witness fight Trump's team rests, calls for quick end to trial 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 KavanaughCollins challenger Sara Gideon raises .5 million in fourth quarter of 2019 Democrats Manchin, Jones signal they're undecided on Trump removal vote Collins walks impeachment tightrope 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 TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet 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.