Sen. Susan Collins of Maine likes to think of herself as a moderate – and to many of her fellow Republicans she may sound like one. The overwhelming majority of her constituents, however, are not so easily convinced, as polls show her with a 33 percent drop in favorability compared to four years ago, when she was re-elected to the Senate for a fourth term. Right now, with an approval rating of just 45%, she’s the second most unpopular senator in the country, only behind Mitch McConnell.
Even though she voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act in 2017, she’s voted in favor of the Trump tax cuts which put the future of the ACA in jeopardy and despite being on the fence, she voted in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, despite his historic unpopularity as a nominee.
In other words, she’s only moderate if her vote is a win-win for her and her donors. It’s not about her constituents. She’s also not hesitant to sound like her far-right counterparts when it comes to defending her record – blaming her decrease in popularity on “dark money groups,” in a recent Bloomberg interview, echoing the popular conservative conspiracy theories about George Soros. This is a bit peculiar because she set up a joint fundraising committee with Lindsey Graham to rake in the out of state dollars. She talks of the country’s divisiveness – something that the open bigotry of her party has only further encouraged.
With Democrats controlling both of Maine’s legislative houses and the governorship, the state is drifting further away from the policies of Donald Trump – at a time when Susan Collins is moving closer to Trump, in the hope that he’ll revive her struggling campaign, or at the very least, ward off a primary challenge from the right.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making