Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has had no problem winning the past four Senate races thanks to the high turnout of women voters in her state. They believed that her “centrist” Republican views opposed those of far-right president Donald Trump.
According to the Politico, about 77% of women residents in Maine are registered to vote, and 65% of women voters turn out on Election Day, both the highest marks in the nation.
In past elections, Collins has had the majority of the women vote (60%). But according to recent polls, those numbers have plummeted after she decided to side with Trump and other far-right Republicans on many issues.
Her support among women voters under 50 has fallen to just 25%.
Politico spoke to the women of Maine to get their perspective on Collins.
“I think Susan has forgotten where she came from,” Maine store owner Tricia Cyr told the outlet. “And I do believe she’s trying to do everything right for the people of Maine, but her ‘right’ and our ‘right’ aren’t the same thing anymore.”
Heidi Sampson told the Politico that she has been inundated with questions and complaints about Collins at her own campaign stops.
“I get phone calls from upset people. I get emails from people. Constituents will come right up and complain about Susan to my face,” she said. “People get really emotional.”
According to the report, many Maine voters have been seen with a “Bye-Bye Susan” bumper sticker on their cars.
Dan Shea, who chairs the government program at Maine’s Colby College, told Politico that Collins’ claim at independence is contradicted by her voting record in recent years – including voting against Trump’s removal from office and her approval of controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“Every decision she makes seems to align her more closely with the Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell movement,” he said. “Here in Maine, that’s become the anvil around her neck.”
The League of Conservation Voters, which supported Collins in 2008 and 2014, have thrown their support behind her Democratic opponent Sara Gideon, noting that Collins’ record on conservation issues fell from 100% in 2008 to 21% since Trump took office.
“A member of Congress is expected to make up her mind about what is in the best interest of her constituents. Again and again during Trump’s presidency, Collins has shown she’s not willing to do that,” Tiernan Sittenfeld, the group’s senior vice president of governmental affairs, told Politico. “We have an extreme and radical president who has so little interest in what is good for places like Maine. We need a champion who will stand up to him.”
With waning support from past allies, Collins has increasingly turned to corporate donors. Her corporate donations have increased from 47% in 2002 to more than 61% this year, according to Politico.
“I honestly don’t recall a single time when she has been an advocate for the working poor,” Hope Eye, a left-leaning voter that came to regret her past support for Collins, told the outlet. “She likes to claim her humble roots, but she consistently lacks empathy for people like me.”
Cyr, the store owner, added that Collins has largely disappeared as her popularity dipped.
“She used to be a visible character who would visit our region and genuinely seem interested in what people thought,” she said. “Honesty, I haven’t seen her here in years.”
You can read the full Politico report HERE.