Senator Susan Collins (R., Me.) is trailing by 12 points in her reelection campaign, according to a Quinnipiac poll released on Wednesday.
Collins, a moderate Republican, faces a significant challenge from her opponent Sara Gideon, a Democrat who is currently Maine’s House Speaker. Maine voters have chosen Democratic presidential candidates since 1988, although some statewide elections have been won by Republicans including Paul LePage, who served as governor from 2011-2019.
While Collins was previously popular among Maine residents, her stock seems to have fallen during the Trump administration. Collins has attempted to distance herself from many of Trump’s statements on coronavirus and other issues, but has also voted in favor of the president’s position during the impeachment trial and the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh.
For the Quinnipiac poll of likely voters, 54 percent of respondents said they preferred Gideon to 42 percent for Collins. Gideon held a positive 49 – 37 point approval rating, while Collins’s approval was negative at 43 – 51. A previous Quinnipiac survey from August found that Gideon led Collins by 47 – 43 points among registered voters.
“The tide has turned on Senator Susan Collins, who was so popular in Maine that she won nearly 70 percent of the vote the last time she ran,” Qunnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow said in a statement. “Likely voters are sending the message that there’s no ‘middle of the road’ when it comes to President Trump, who is deeply unpopular in the state.”
Gideon on Monday called for Collins to say if she would vote for Trump in the November elections, however Collins declined to say who she would pick.