Collins trails Democrat Sara Gideon by 4 in Maine Senate race: poll

Bonnie Cash

Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) holds a 4-point lead over Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the state’s hotly contested Senate race, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), shows Gideon, the current front-runner for the Democratic Senate nomination in Maine, garnering 46 percent of the vote to Collins’s 42 percent. 

Collins, a 23-year veteran of the Senate, has repeatedly won reelection in the past, largely due to her crossover appeal to both Republicans and Democrats. But she became a top political target for Democrats in 2017 after she voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2017 as he faced allegations of sexual assault. 

The latest PPP survey found signs that her crossover appeal in her home state isn’t what it once was. Her overall approval rating is underwater, with 36 percent of respondents approving of her job performance and 55 percent disapproving.

Among those voters who cast their ballot for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, only 8 percent said they approve of Collins’s job performance, compared to 87 percent who disapproved. That’s a sharp drop from where Collins stood among those voters a little more than a year ago, when 32 percent of Clinton voters approved of the job the senator was doing in office.

Gideon is still facing a primary challenge, with her main opponent, former gubernatorial candidate Betsy Sweet, running to the left of the state House Speaker. But Gideon is the favorite of national Democrats to win the nomination, and she has already built a fundraising advantage over Collins.

Gideon has raised more than $15.2 million for her campaign this year  nearly three times the roughly $5.4 million raised by Collins. At the same time, the two candidates are largely keeping pace with one another in their total cash on hand, according to their latest Federal Election Commission reports. 

Maine isn’t looking particularly promising for Republicans in the presidential election, either. The PPP poll released Monday showed presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by 11 points in the state.

The PPP poll surveyed 1,022 Maine voters from July 2 to 3. It has a margin of sampling error of 3.1 percentage points.

Tags 2020 elections Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Maine Maine Senate race PPP poll Public Policy Polling Sara Gideon Susan Collins

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