With Her Eye On 2020, Collins Has The Most To Lose From Kavanaugh Vote

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks amid a crush of reporters after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017. She is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed to it as written which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Many Republican senators, especially the 21 up for reelection in 2020, are choosing their moves on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh carefully and with an ear to the ground, according to a Wednesday Politico report. 

However, none of them is walking a more tenuous tightrope than Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the only one of the three highly-scrutinized moderates — along with Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — running for reelection in 2020. Flake is retiring and Murkowski isn’t up again until 2022.

Though, as Politico points out, no one knows how long the Kavanaugh news cycle will last in the rapidly-shifting media landscape under the Trump administration, Collins can be sure that no matter what she does, some in her purple state will hold the decision against her. That could result in either a primary challenge from a Trumpier candidate on the right, or a general election opponent spurred on by fired-up liberals.

“All I can do is cast the vote I think is correct. If I try to do a political assessment on this vote, it would be wrong given that we’re talking about a Supreme Court nominee,” Collins told Politico. “No matter how I vote, there will be people who are very unhappy with it.”


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