What Changed Susan: “Collins Is Not The Leader She Once Was”

With “Troubling” and “Confusing” Positions, Senator Collins Loses Key Endorsements and Is Rated the Country’s “Most Disliked U.S. Senator

As a new poll shows Senator Collins’ approval rating plummeting again to make her now the most unpopular Senator in the country, she also lost a second key endorsement while facing “her toughest reelection fight” and is under heightened scrutiny for her decision to side with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell and refuse to demand the inclusion of witnesses in the impeachment trial rules.

Here are the highlights from Senator Collins’ disappointing weekend: 


Morning Consult released new polling that showed 52% of Mainers now disapprove of Senator Collins, making her more unpopular with home state voters than even Mitch McConnell. NewsCenter Maine political analyst John Richardson explainedthat Senator Collins’ votes for tax breaks for billionaires and Brett Kavanaugh have cost her significant support among Mainers.

NewsCenter Maine: Poll names Susan Collins most disliked US senator

“Senator Susan Collins — talk about a 180 — she won her last reelection with almost 70% of the vote. Now she is ranked as the country’s most disliked Senator in a new poll.”

NECN: Maine’s Susan Collins Has Become the Most Disliked US Senator, According to Poll

“Survey results released by Morning Consult show Collins has a 52% disapproval rating in her home state. That makes her the most unpopular senator in the poll, unseating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from the top of the list.”

Bangor Daily News: Maine’s Susan Collins has highest disapproval rating of any senator in national survey

“Collins’ approval rating has sunk sharply since Trump took office in the first quarter of 2017, when the Maine senator registered a 67 percent approval rating, according to Morning Consult. In the final quarter of 2019, the firm said her rating stood at 42 percent. Her disapproval rating of 52 percent in Maine during that period was highest among senators.”


On Saturday, Senator Collins lost the support of Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. In an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald, Planned Parenthood explained that “Sen. Collins is not the leader she once was.” The announcement from Planned Parenthood followed decisions by the League of Conservation Voters and NARAL Pro-Choice America to oppose Senator Collins’ reelection after supporting her in the past.  

Portland Press Herald (Opinion): Commentary: Real leadership needed to protect and advance reproductive rights

“It’s clear that Sen. Collins is not the leader she once was, particularly when it comes to reproductive health and rights. In this increasingly partisan environment, Sen. Collins is choosing to prioritize her party, her colleagues and judicial nominees whose primary qualification for lifetime appointments is allegiance to a political agenda.”


The Portland Press Herald’s Editorial Board called Senator Collins’ position “troubling” and “unclear,” writing that her recent statements sound “like the justification of a cover-up” while others noted that she is “not saying she would support witnesses” and sounds like “she’s trying to appease McConnell.”

Portland Press Herald (Editorial): Our View: Sen. Susan Collins should demand to see all the evidence

“On which side will Sen. Susan Collins land – cover-up or trial? So far, it’s unclear. Maine’s senior senator has made comments that suggest she could be in favor of calling witnesses, but she has not demanded that they be called, as she did in 1999, when Democrat Bill Clinton had been impeached by the House. Back then, she said, ‘I need witnesses and further evidence to guide me to the right destination, to get to the truth.’”

MSNBC Deadline:

Jake Sherman: “Read between the lines I would guess on Susan Collins. She’s saying she would support a motion. She’s not saying she would support witnesses, she’s not saying who she would support. She would support a motion to consider witnesses. That’s not saying much. That’s saying she will open it up for a vote and then, it’s up to the Senate to decide … But what she is saying now, factually, and people might not like to hear this, what she is saying now is,  I will support a motion to allow the Senate to consider other witnesses. She’s not saying she wants other witnesses.”

CNN Tonight With Don Lemon:

DON LEMON: “We also saw a new statement from Senator Susan Collins trying to explain and clarify her position on witnesses, saying she’ll likely support calling them once both sides get to make their case. Okay. I want to — why does she say likely? Why can’t she say this is a trial and of course trials should have witnesses?”
AMANDA CARPENTER: “You know, she’s trying to appease McConnell.”

MSNBC All In With Chris Hayes:

DAVID JOLLY: “Chris, Susan Collins never misses the right opportunity to make the wrong decision, and I think the nation would be wary to put their faith in her in this moment.”

Associated Press: Impeachment lands Sen. Collins in familiar spot: crosshairs

“Facing perhaps her toughest reelection fight, veteran Sen. Susan Collins has parachuted into familiar terrain — the heart of a hot-button issue, this time President Donald Trump’s impeachment.”

Portland Press Herald: Sen. Collins in a ‘uniquely difficult’ position, impeachment observers say

“Critics have argued for Collins to push harder for the inclusion of witnesses from the start, arguing that the current situation differs from the Clinton impeachment trial, where senators had the benefit of an independent report into the president’s conduct and the president and Senate majority came from opposing parties.”

The DSCC launched WhatChangedSusan.com to highlight Senator Collins’ alignment with Mitch McConnell and refusal to set the same standards for a fair impeachment process that she did in 1999. WhatChangedSusan.com will be updated regularly as the impeachment process unfolds. 


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