As her approval tanks in Maine, Collins leans on out-of-state money for reelection

According to a new poll from Morning Consult, the difference between Sen. Susan Collins’ net approval rating — the share of voters who approve of her job performance minus the share who disapprove — among Maine voters and her disapproval rating has closed by more than 40 points since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, making her one of the most vulnerable Republican senators in the country.

Collins’ current overall disapproval rating of 48 percent — with an error margin of two percentage points — means she now ranks as the second most unpopular senator  in the U.S.  Back in 2016, her disapproval rating was 21 percent, versus an approval rating of 69 percent. With an approval rating of 45 percent in 2019, the gap between those who support and those who oppose Collins’ track record has narrowed significantly.

This polling, published Wednesday, followed the release of the latest Federal Elections Commission report on campaign fundraising for 2019. The filings revealed 95 percent of contributions made to Collins’ re-election campaign came from out of state. Of the $2 million she has raised this quarter, only $98,450 — or five percent — came from Mainers.

About $774,000 came from PACS, with $109,000 coming from the out-of-state GOP Winning Women, Collins’ joint fundraising committee with Sens. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Shelley Capito (R-W.V.).

“As Maine Democrats talk to voters throughout the state about issues that are important to them and the change that’s needed in Washington, Senator Susan Collins continues to depend on out-of-state special interest money to fund her campaign,” said Kathleen Marra, chair of the Maine Democratic Party, in a press release. “This is just more of the same from Senator Collins, who is prioritizing Washington special interests and losing touch with the people she’s supposed to serve and represent.”

In 1996, Collins came out in favor of restricting donations made to candidates from out of state. Yet the current deputy treasurer for Collins’ campaign committee, Amy Abbott, told HuffPo that “all serious candidates for federal office in Maine raise a majority of their money out-of-state.”

(Top photo: Collins’ Twitter)

Editor’s note: Changes were made to this article to better reflect Morning Consult’s polling and the FEC filings. 

About Cara DeRose

Avatar photoCara DeRose is a staff writer for Beacon. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine, she served as writer and copy editor for the USM Free Press and interned at the Portland Press Herald.

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