Sen. Susan Collins Says She Does Not Regret Voting For Kavanaugh ‘In The Least’
During an interview with the New York Times, Collins said, “I do not regret my vote in the least.” The senator pointed to Kavanaugh’s abortion record—while he upheld a restrictive Louisiana abortion law, he chose not to hear a case that would challenge Roe v. Wade, indicating that he may be hesitant to attack the decades-old landmark case.
Collins’ vote has angered many of her supporters in Maine and opened the door for a difficult 2020 reelection bid. One couple who voted for her in 2014, John and Jan Miliano, 61 and 60 respectively, said that they were crushed by the senator’s vote. “I have held her in such high esteem as a role model,” Ms. Miliano said, adding, “This could have been her Margaret Chase Smith moment,” referring to the revered Maine senator who stood up to Joseph McCarthy.
Collins coasted to victory in 2014 with 68% of the vote, appealing to citizens across the political spectrum with her moderate brand—39% of Democrats voted for her in 2014, helping her become the only remaining Republican senator in New England. The Maine lawmaker frequently voted across party lines during her tenure, supporting Democratic Supreme Court nominees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor as well as voting against the Trump healthcare reform bill.
While the senator has not confirmed whether she will be running for reelection, opting to delay that decision until the fall, Maine’s changing political landscape ensures that her centrist stance may no longer be enough to win her the state. The biggest chunk of Maine’s voters are independents who don’t identify with either major party. While this demographic would usually be attracted to Collins’ moderate position, recent polls have shown that independents nationwide have begun to lean towards the Democrats, pushed away by the antics of President Trump.
Portland, Maine’s biggest city, has also begun to turn more towards the left as the Democratic party focuses its attention on firebrand radicals such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) instead of moderates who can cross party lines.