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Democratic challenger outraises Collins in Maine Senate race

Democratic challenger outraises Collins in Maine Senate race
© Greg Nash

Maine Democrat Sara Gideon outraised Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden Why the 'Never-Trumpers' flopped Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars MORE (R) in the first quarter of 2020 in one of the year's most closely watched Senate races.

Gideon, the Maine House Speaker, raised about $7.1 million in the first three months of 2020 compared to about $2.4 million for Collins, according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission. However, Gideon finishing March with about $4.6 million cash on hand compared to Collins's $5.6 million in the bank.

Gideon’s campaign has relied heavily on small-dollar donors, saying that 96 percent of its contributions thus far have totaled $100 or less. 

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Polls show Gideon and Collins are neck and neck in the race, which has become a magnet for millions of dollars of outside money.

Democrats are clamoring to flip Collins’s seat, which she has held since 1997. The Maine Republican has for decades worked to cultivate a bipartisan reputation but has become a top target for liberals after her votes to approve President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE’s tax plan in 2017 and to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster Laurence Tribe: Justice Thomas is out of order on 2020 election MORE in the wake of sexual assault allegations. 

Gideon still has to win a primary race against two other Democrats to secure the party’s nomination, but has won the support of Senate Democrats’ campaign arm and has blown her intraparty competition away in fundraising.

Collins is one of two Republican senators running for reelection in a state President Trump lost in 2016. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Maine race a “toss-up.”