Susan Collins wins re-election despite never having led in a single poll

Decision Desk called the Maine Senate race for Susan Collins a few minutes ago.


At nearly the same time, Sen. Collins was making an announcement. “I have news to report to you,” Collins said. She continued, “I’ve just received a very gracious call from Sara Gideon conceding the race. I want to thank Sara for her call.”

The tone of that statement is vastly different from what Collins was saying about Gideon less than a month ago:

“She will say or do anything to try to win,” Collins said when asked of her opponent during a wide-ranging 30-minute interview in her Capitol quarters last week. “This race is built on a foundation of falsehoods. And trying to convince the people of Maine that somehow I am no longer the same person.”

Collins wasn’t done as she accused Gideon of “defaming my reputation and attacking my integrity” in their increasingly nasty race. For good measure, the Maine Republican added that Gideon’s campaign was being run as an arm of Chuck Schumer’s Washington operation, scolded Gideon, the statehouse speaker, for not reconvening the legislature amid the pandemic and challenged Gideon’s handling of a sexual misconduct scandal.


There are really two stories worth highlighting here. The first is that Democrats have been furious with Collins since her vote to confirm Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and they spent a truckload of cash trying to unseat her.

Two years ago, when Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced that she would vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after he was accused of sexual assault, liberal groups vowed to oust her in the 2020 election — and they haven’t hit the brakes since.

Her opponent, Sara Gideon, who currently serves as the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, has posted stunning fundraising numbers, raising more than $63.6 million since she launched her campaign last summer, while Collins raised just $25.2 million over the last two years…

Between July and September alone, Gideon brought in $39.4 million, while Collins raised just $8 million. According to the Bangor Daily News itself, the Gideon campaign spent $11 million from July to September on digital and TV ads, while Collins spent $4.3 million on media production.

Just like the expensive but failed efforts to unseat Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell, Democrats might just as well have set that big pile of cash on fire.

The other story that really deserves attention is the failure by the media to accurately predict this race, like so much else they failed to accurately predict. Guy Benson made the point with a single image:


You can check it yourself at Real Clear Politics. Not a single poll ever showed Collins in the lead. Even Shaun King is amazed:

Frank Luntz called it “systematic failure.”

This really looks like an astounding failure for both Democrats and the media. But I repeat myself.

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David Strom 7:00 AM | May 18, 2024