Here’s a simple but essential point we must all keep in mind come November 2020. Maine’s senatorial race is about Susan Collins. Sara Gideon is inconsequential. Zealots determined to expel Susan raised a couple of million dollars which they pledged to somebody still unnamed. Sara, as Speaker of the Maine House was a plausible sort of somebody, a lot more plausible than the pair of loony Left-lurchers who ran against her in the primary.

On August 6 the Quinnipiac poll gave Gideon 47% of its respondents votes and Susan Collins 43%. Gideon’s four percent is a weak advantage at this stage. The Quinnipiac presidential polling offers Democrats better prospects. It gave Biden a 15% lead over Trump in Maine. This breaks down for Biden at 44% and for Trump at 45% in the second congressional district, with Biden 61% and Trump 30% in the first congressional district. If Biden has “coat-tails” this will give the Speaker a huge advantage.

Therein lays a simple explanation of why the Collins campaign has nothing to say about her relations with the president. And why Gideon’s bunch, work hard to suggest that Collins is The Donald’s devoted supporter. Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s campaign strategist sent an e-mail on August 4 playing on the same guilt-by-association theme. The villain with contagious guilt in his message is the “Liberal New Yorker” Chuck Schumer. Chuck is the Democrats Senate minority leader who wants to preside over a Democratic senatorial majority. Having warm relations with his Wall Street neighbors he’s a champion fund-raiser and he is directing a lot of those funds to Maine. He knows he can’t get a blue Senate without defeating Collin.

Rove’s e-mail message, sent to his Republican list, tells us that Schumer is “willing to do or say whatever it takes to defeat Susan … Democrats have been working to defeat Susan for years. In fact, they groomed her opponent and even set her up with Elizabeth Warren’s former Campaign Manager. This race has never been about the future of the people of Maine. It’s always been all about Democrats turning the Senate blue.” Allowing for a little partisan exaggeration here and there that sounds about right to me.

An April 17 fund-raising appeal from the Collins campaign plays on the same themes.

“George Soros, Donald Sussman and other far left billionaires are bankrolling [Gideon’s} campaign,” the appeal tells us, “Gideon and her allies are gathering resources from out-of-state billionaires across the country. Then, they are using this enormous amount of money to run a remarkably ABSURD, FALSE, and UNFAIR campaign against Susan Collins. This anticipates constant themes we will hear and see until election day: out of state interference in Maine’s elections (people from away should stay away), billionaires (nobody likes billionaires, who could?); far left billionaires (gilded socialists). Nothing surprising in this appeal, all standard political talk. Nothing new. Nothing actually false.

The positive parts of the fund-raising appeal are true and predictable. Susan, we read, has always been a fighter for Maine … she gets things done … she stands up for us (her fellow Mainer), unlike Chuck Schumer and others she’s a non-partisan partisan (sounds kind of contradictory, but remember the appeal was sent to a Republican list). The fund raising appeal identifies a key Democratic campaign theme when it points to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s campaign strategy. claiming that she has “changed.”

The ‘change’ charge is intended to discredit the Collins reputation as an independent who works pragmatically across the aisles with Democrats to get things done for the good of everybody, especially everybody in Maine. We have seen full-page ads in Maine newspapers signed by citizens claiming to have voted for Collins in the past, when they thought she was a pragmatic moderate, but have switched their allegiance to the Democratic nominee because she has changed.

How many of the signatories are actually disillusioned and disappointed Collins supporters? all of them? some of them? none of them? I have no way of knowing, but I have suspicions. Here’s my rule, anything in politics which can be faked advantageously will be faked.

The April fund-raising appeal contained all the major themes we have seen and will continue to see in the Collins campaign, with only minor variations. Make a note of the following and you won’t have to watch or read what lies ahead: “I am a Mainer through and through. What’s happening in Maine right now is different than in any other race in the country. The far Left thinks they can silence voters in Maine if they use millions of dollars from outside Maine to attack Susan Collins. And Chuck Schumer and his billionaire far-left allies are behind it.”

Senator Chuck, in reality, is no favorite of the Democratic far-left. Yvette Simpson, chief executive officer of the exotic Democracy for America crowd doesn’t love Chuck, but she wants to see him replace Mitch McConnell as president of the U.S. Senate. So she’s right on the sport backing the mainstream Democrats’ pitch. Read her donation appeal for the weirdly “progressive” Betsy Sweet:

“It’s official GOP Senator Susan Collins is running for re-election in 2020, and she already has Trump’s full-fledged support. You may remember that Collins betrayed the people of Maine, especially women, when she became the deciding vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court last year. Collins’ reputation as a moderate Republican is manufactured … she’s been a reliable vote for Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell over and over again, proving she’s out of step with a state Hillary Clinton won by over 20,000 votes.”

The Lugar Center, which is dedicated to promoting and supporting legislators who “broaden the appeal of their sponsored legislation, to entertain a wider range of ideas, and to prioritize governance over posturing” maintains a Bipartisan Index. It named Collins the most bipartisan Senator of 2019 and of the three Congresses preceding the 2018 midterm elections.

John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008, is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of FraryHomeCompanion.com. He can be reached at [email protected]


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