Her reelection contest is already on track to be the state’s most expensive race ever. And Trump is eager to compete for the state’s four Electoral College votes with a campaign aimed at white, working-class voters.
If she votes to acquit the president, the state’s resurgent Democratic Party and its national allies are likely to clobber her as out of step with the state’s light blue hue. And if she votes to remove Trump from office after a Senate trial, she’ll risk dampening support from the conservative base and raising the ire of the president himself.
Still, impeachment also offers an opportunity for Collins to emphasize her independence at a time of deep polarization and a crucial moment in history.
Already she is taking a unique approach among her fellow incumbent Republicans, declining to endorse or disavow Trump’s reelection bid. She sided with her party to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and broke with the GOP on the vote to repeal Obamacare, but impeachment may eclipse even those explosive fights.