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 CollinsSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment 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 McConnellCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators MORE (R-Ky.).

Collins’s decisive vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCollins walks impeachment tightrope Supreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools How Citizens United altered America's political landscape 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge Liberal super PAC to run digital ads slamming Trump over Medicare comments 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.