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Blue state GOP Govs. Larry Hogan, Charlie Baker endorse Susan Collins

Blue state GOP Govs. Larry Hogan, Charlie Baker endorse Susan Collins
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) are endorsing Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTeam Trump offering 'fire hose' of conspiracy Kool-Aid for supporters Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Hogan 'embarrassed that more people' in the GOP 'aren't speaking up' against Trump MORE (R) in Maine’s hotly contested Senate race, cutting ads in support of the longtime incumbent as she faces the most serious reelection fight of her political career.

The ads, shared first with The Hill, are part of a $450,000 ad blitz by the Republican Jewish Coalition and come a week after the group launched another spot in which former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, threw his support behind Collins’s reelection

The endorsements from Hogan and Baker are particularly unique. Both are Republican governors of deep-blue states and rarely endorse in races outside their home.

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Hogan, who considered a primary challenge to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE last year, is seen as a potential candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

The 15-second digital spots tout Collins as an independent-minded lawmaker with a history of working with members of both parties in Washington. 

“Maine has a long history of independent-thinking leaders, and Susan Collins is exactly the kind of independent, thoughtful and effective leader that we desperately need in the Senate,” Hogan says in one of the ads. “As governor of Maryland, I can appreciate that. I urge you to reelect Susan Collins.”

“As governor of Massachusetts, I work with both parties to get things done. Susan Collins does that in the Senate,” Baker says in another spot. “She’s pro-environment, pro-women, pro-Maine. We need more leaders like Susan. I hope you reelect her.”

A third ad features both Hogan and Baker, as well as Lieberman, urging Maine voters to reelect Collins. 

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Collins, a four-term senator who has won reelection each time by increasing margins, is facing the toughest electoral fight of her career, going up against Maine’s Democratic state House Speaker Sara Gideon.

Gideon has handily outraised Collins quarter after quarter, and Democratic outside groups have pumped millions of dollars into the state in an effort to oust the last remaining New England Republican in Congress, whose seat is seen as a critical part of Democrats’ path to the Senate majority this year.

Virtually every recent public poll shows Collins trailing Gideon by varying margins. A New York Times/Siena College survey released on Friday found Gideon with a 5-point advantage in the race, while a poll from Quinnipiac University released earlier this week showed the state House Speaker with an even larger 12-point lead over Collins.

But Collins’s allies have cautioned against writing the Maine senator off, and election handicappers, including The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections, see the race as a toss-up.