I spoke to Sam Brodey of the Daily Beast about Susan Collins’ tricky path through Maine and the attitudes of Trump voters in a politically schizophrenic state where the path to victory requires majority support.
The larger challenge for Collins, however, is that the GOP coming home may not save her from defeat.
The senator has two bigger problems, said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist who’s worked on races in the state: Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s clear statewide advantage on the presidential ticket, and Maine’s ranked choice voting system, in which candidates who get a plurality, but not a majority, of votes do not win outright.
“It matters less what the marginal Trump voter thinks and more about, are there enough Trump voters,” Donovan said. “That’s Collins’ fundamental problem: she doesn’t make her own wake anymore. She’s surfing his, and at the end of the day, he’s not doing well enough for that marginal Trump voter to matter.”
This is where the Trump tweet comes back into play. Some local Republicans believe that Trump, in his way, was strategically trying to help Collins—giving her a “maverick” appeal by attacking her in a state where he is less popular, Winter theorized.
But many more have a hard time buying that Trump, who is on record predicting he will win Maine, was actually trying to help Collins in a roundabout way. A “three-dimensional chess move,” said Donovan, “is not what this is. It’s not helpful, it’s a distraction.”
Read the full piece here.