State

Northern Maine voters still love Susan Collins despite her spats with Trump, LePage

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she is poised to announce by next week whether she will run for governor in 2018.

Her extended “to run or not to run” drama continues to draw breathless scrutiny in Maine and national political circles.

Because of Republicans’ razor-thin majority in the Senate, Collins’ influence has grown since President Donald Trump took office. As a rare congressional moderate, Collins has been a key vote in blocking major elements of Trump’s agenda that reflects what she sees as policy or process flaws, most notably efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. She has openly criticized Trump, dating back to August 2016 when she announced she would not vote for him for president.

In Maine, polls for years have shown her to be the state’s most popular politician. With support from voters in both parties, it is generally accepted that Collins could trounce opponents in the gubernatorial general election — if she could survive a more partisan June Republican primary and attacks from the more conservative wing of her party.

But have her votes on some of Trump’s nominees, his immigration policy attempts and the health care law changed how Collins is seen in the part of Maine that gave Trump an electoral vote last year?

Of approximately three dozen Mainers from the 2nd Congressional District interviewed by the Bangor Daily News in late September, a clear majority identified as Collins supporters, whether they were Republicans, Democrats or independents.

The Fiddlehead Focus / St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “Northern Maine voters still love Susan Collins despite her spats with Trump, LePage,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Chris Cousins, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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