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Collins says she hasn't decided on 2020 run, criticizes 'dark money groups'

Collins says she hasn't decided on 2020 run, criticizes 'dark money groups'
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time White House: Biden committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Miss. case CDC's about-face on masks appears politically motivated to help a struggling Biden MORE (R-Maine) says she has not decided whether to run for reelection, suggesting “dark money groups” have hurt her chances.

“The divisiveness of our country and the unceasing attacks by dark money groups in Maine have clearly had an impact,” Collins told Bloomberg in a recent interview.

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“But I believe that once Mainers really focus on the race and we remind them of my being the No. 1 most bipartisan member of the Senate, and all the accomplishments that I can point to that have directly benefited the state, I’ll be fine,” she added.

Collins, who was reelected with two-thirds of the vote in 2014, was one of the most popular senators in her home state in 2015, with an approval rating of 78 percent.

That approval rating has since dropped to 45 percent, making her the second-least popular after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Trump signals he's ready to get back in the game Manchin, Murkowski call for bipartisan Voting Rights Act reauthorization MORE (R-Ky.).

Collins’s decisive vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael Kavanaugh Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday Conservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements MORE in 2018 made her one of the top targets for Democrats, who face an uphill climb to a Senate majority in the 2020 map.

Several Democrats have already announced a run against her next year, including Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon and attorney Bre Kidman, as well as Betsy Sweet, former director of the Maine Women’s Lobby, who lost in the 2018 Democratic primary for governor to Gov. Janet Mills.

Collins told Bloomberg she has overcome unfavorable odds in the past.

“In 2008, which was another very tough race where [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Pro-tax millionaires protesting in front of Bezos's homes Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE [D-N.Y.] had his top pick in a very capable congressman, a very worthy opponent in Tom Allen, at one point that was a 7-point race and I ended up winning by 20,” she said.