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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 CollinsCongress set for chaotic year-end sprint Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Two more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers 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 McConnellFive things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs Obama chief economist says Democrats should accept smaller coronavirus relief package if necessary Memo to Biden: Go big — use the moment to not only rebuild but to rebuild differently MORE (R-Ky.).

Collins’s decisive vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughFor Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty COVID-19: Justice Alito overstepped judicial boundaries Defusing the judicial confirmation process 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 SchumerThe five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Collins urges voters to turn out in Georgia runoffs Protect America's houses of worship in year-end appropriations package 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.