Susan Collins

Maine's Susan Collins Has Become the Most Disliked US Senator, According to Poll

Sen. Susan Collins' disapproval rating has reached 52%, unseating Mitch McConnell as the nation's most disliked senator.

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) won her last re-election with almost 70% of the vote, but she is now ranked as the country's most disliked senator in a new 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.

"She certainly is in a difficult position," said NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd, the moderator of Meet the Press, when asked about Collins on Friday. "I don't think anybody in the Senate envies the political vice grip that she's in, and I think she's in one of the more unique ones."

Nearly six years on from an overwhelming re-election victory, Collins' ability to win a fifth term is not certain.

The Cook Political Report calls her race a toss-up and sources like Roll Call say the race "tilts Republican."

Collins' campaign has called the Morning Consult results "an online poll that has little credibility … We are confident that it does not reflect reality."

"There is a Republican base that is very supportive in her state. She can't alienate that base and win re-election," said Todd, giving his view of the difficult situation Collins finds herself in. "At the same time, there is a middle and an independent streak of Maine that isn't a big fan of the president, and she needs those voters to win re-election, too."

One issue, the impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump, has put a searing spotlight on the senator.

This week, Collins released a seven-point document outlining exactly how she wants the freshly-begun Senate trial to proceed.

That followed headlines describing some of Collins' comments on new evidence as "confusing" and hinting at the enormous pressure a lawmaker consistently ranked America's most bipartisan senator is under to bridge the divide between pro- and anti-Trump camps.

Analysts question if she can truly maintain that middle ground.

"Ultimately, I think that's what this fall campaign is about – 'Do you like this disruption or don't you?'" said Todd. "I think Susan Collins is going to have to pick a side on that, and she may lament the loss of bipartisanship, but ultimately, voters are going to be making that kind of referendum choice."

Collins has found herself in a similar spot before as a moderate during the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial, in which she voted to acquit the Democratic president.

The impeachment trial is expected to begin as early as next Tuesday.

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