ME-Sen: The American Prospect, “Gideon (D) Got Game”

Gabrielle Gurley has a great piece on Maine House Speaker and U.S. Senate candidate, Sara Gideon (D. ME), in The American Prospect that is worth the read:

Sara Gideon had to be on point. When the Speaker of the Maine House took the plunge by running against Sen. Susan Collins, she had paltry statewide name recognition, fundraising disadvantages, and the albatross of a southern Maine ZIP code—three strikes in a state that twice had elected Paul LePage, the Pine Tree State’s very own proto-Trump.

Once she declared, Gideon pulled in the big guns of the Democratic Party, and on Tuesday she trounced her primary opponents, picking up 70 percent of the vote to win the Senate nomination. The contest is already the most expensive in Maine history—and on track to become one of the most expensive in the country. Republicans have vowed to knock themselves out to protect Collins in a contest that hinges largely on how Mainers view her allegiance to Donald Trump and how much they want a new face to take on post-COVID challenges.

Gideon has had a remarkable rise for a little-known candidate. But her ascent is not wholly surprising, given the anger that Collins, once a reliable prospect for re-election, has managed to stoke in four years. Gideon has raised nearly $25 million as national Democrats quickly made two calculations: that the previously unbeatable Collins had stuck so close to Trump that she’d alienated her centrist supporters; and that Gideon, who’d beat back LePage on issues like distributing Naloxone to people under 21 and expanding Medicaid, could deal with the expected onslaught from national Republicans.

Give the piece a read. Right now, Collins is trying to change the rules to try to save her ass:

First, she says the money was going to be a bribe to her, Collins, intended to make her not vote for Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Now she says it’s a “BRIBE“ that her Democratic opponent Sara Gideon is taking. (And yes, the all-caps are hers.) It’s “the most out-of state $ in Maine history,” this fundraising letter proclaims. As in $3 from tens of thousands of people who live all over the country. As opposed to the mysterious six-figure donation Collins secured from a company that may or may not truly exist based in Hawaii. Oh, Susan. But that’s not all the Collinsing she did this week. Not by a long shot.

For months now, Collins has been refusing to weigh in on Trump. She’s refused to say whether she voted for him in the presidential primary back in March, though his was the only name on the Republican ballot and she did vote. Asked this week if she’ll support Trump’s reelection, she bleated: “I am concentrating on my own campaign and I am not going to get involved in presidential politics. I’m going to concentrate on my own race.” An intrepid Maine reporter pushed back, saying: “You did get involved in 2016, very publicly.” In 2016, Collins went so far as to write an op-ed detailing why she wouldn’t vote for him.

Let’s go big in Maine this year to finally get rid of Collins. Click below to donate and get involved with Gideon, Biden and their fellow Maine Democrats campaigns:

Sara Gideon

Joe Biden

Jared Golden