Susan Collins is an unpopular incumbent, so she can’t count on high turnout from her own party in her November reelection race. She’ll get middling turnout at best, and all she can hope for is weak turnout for her lesser-known opponent, Democrat Sara Gideon. The bad news for Collins is that Gideon is already slightly ahead of her in the polls. Now Collins has gotten the really bad news.
When voters are angry at an incumbent, the question is always whether they’re actually going to turn out for the challenger. Polls are one thing; votes are another. In last night’s Democratic primary contest in Maine, turnout was up by around fifteen to twenty percent over last time around. Democrats in the state are clearly in a mood to show up and vote for their side.
That means Democrats in Maine will likely show up to vote in large numbers again in November, for the Democratic nominee over Trump. It means they’ll also vote for Gideon over Collins while they’re at it. And if you’re looking for confirmation that Maine Democrats are in a mood to punish Republican politicians in the state for shamefully siding with Trump, consider this: the Democrats won a State House seat in Maine last night by fifteen points, in a district that Trump won by eight points in 2016. If the Democrats keep turning out in large numbers in 2020, Trump and the likes of Susan Collins will be gone.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report