Poll: 50 percent of Maine voters disapprove of Susan Collins's job performance

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump on US coronavirus risks: 'We're very, very ready for this' GOP, Democrats hash out 2020 strategy at dueling retreats Chamber looks to support Democratic allies in 2020 MORE’s (R-Maine) approval rating is deeply underwater about a year ahead of her reelection race, according to a new poll from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling.

Thirty-five percent of Maine voters polled approve of the job Collins is doing, while 50 percent disapprove. Collins trails a generic Democratic candidate 44 percent to 41 percent in the 2020 Maine Senate race, a drop from September, when she led a generic Democrat 44 percent to 38 percent. 

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Collins, who is one of two Republican senators running for reelection in states former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton to start new podcast Centrist Democrats insist Sanders would need delegate majority to win President Trump is weak against Bernie Sanders in foreign affairs MORE won in 2016, is facing one of the toughest reelection campaigns of her career. Her vote last year to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael Kavanaugh70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Justices bar Mexican parents from suing over fatal cross-border shooting of teen Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Arizona man MORE as he faced sexual misconduct allegations infuriated liberals and sparked an intense effort to recruit candidates to challenge the longtime senator.

“At one point, maybe Senator 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. I’m running for Senate because I know I can make a difference, and because Mainers deserve a senator who will always put our state first,” Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, her chief Democratic challenger, said in her campaign announcement.

Collins also faces a precarious situation regarding Democrats' impeachment investigation. She has not weighed in on the probe, saying she declines to comment since she would be a juror if the House decides to ultimately impeach the president. 

While 53 percent of Mainers in the poll support impeachment, only 14 percent of Republican primary voters said the same. 

“It’s going to be hard for Susan Collins to get reelected if she opposes impeachment,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “She’s already lost a lot of her crossover support from Democrats, and that would cause her to lose even more.”

“It’s going to be hard for Susan Collins to get reelected if she supports impeachment,” added Debnam. “Donald Trump is still overwhelmingly popular with Republican primary voters, and they’re going to be inclined to put Collins out in the primary if she votes to remove him from office.” 

However, the National Republican Senatorial Committee dismissed the poll, pointing to Public Policy Polling's political leanings.

“Public Policy Polling (PPP) is an arm of the Democratic Party, and their manufactured 'polls' are not worth the paper they’re printed on. Washington special interests are trying to distract while their handpicked candidate, Sara Gideon, faces ongoing ethics investigations, criticism for refusing to talk to the media or voters, and her ties to dark money organizations,” NRSC spokesperson Nathan Brand said in a statement.

Collins has proved resilient throughout her career, having stayed in the Senate since she was elected in 1996. 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Maine Senate race as a “toss up.”

The Public Policy Polling survey interviewed 939 Maine voters from October 11-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.