Speed Reads

the results up north

The first poll of Susan Collins' 2020 senate race shows her tied with Democratic challenger

Maine's 2020 Senate race is uncharted territory for Republican Sen. Susan Collins.

Colby College released the first poll of this year's Maine Senate race, and it shows the four-term incumbent statistically tied with her Democratic challenger, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon. While 42 percent of respondents said they'd vote for Collins in the fall, 43 percent said they'd opt for Gideon, marking an unusually tough road ahead for Collins.

"This could be the kind of race Sen. Collins has not had to deal with before," said Dan Shea, Colby College's lead researcher on the poll. Collins secured her first Senate election in 1996 by about six points and won far more easily in her three re-elections since. Yet with Maine's second congressional district flipping to Democrat Jared Golden in 2018, it looks like the rest of the state could follow suit.

Collins infuriated many Democratic voters when she voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. The tight margin could also stem partly from Collins' vote to acquit President Trump during his impeachment trial. A total of 37 percent of poll respondents said they were disappointed with her role in the impeachment process, while 30 percent said they were proud and 31 percent said they had mixed feelings. When asked if the Senate's acquittal was the right decision, 48 percent said yes and 49 percent said no.

Colby College surveyed 1,008 registered voters from Feb. 10–13 with a margin of error of 3 percent. About 30 percent of surveys were conducted via cell phone and landline, while 70 percent were conducted online.