Susan Collins: People 'appreciate' my vote for Kavanaugh even though polls say otherwise


Collins has faced strong opposition in Maine since she decided to back Kavanaugh.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) insists that there is "appreciation" in Maine for her support of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But polls have shown that Maine was never on board with the nomination and that Collins' support has dropped ever since the hearings.

Collins admitted in an interview with Politico published Monday that she has "lost some votes because of my decision to support Justice Kavanaugh," but added, "there still is an appreciation in Maine for someone who looks at the facts of an issue, votes with integrity and independence."

An August 2018 poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that opposition to Kavanaugh formed early in Maine: 49% of voters in the state thought Collins should have voted to reject him.

"The more Mainers learn about Kavanaugh's positions on health care and Roe v. Wade, the less support he receives," PPP noted.

Voters made it clear in the poll that they were far less likely to support Collins' 2020 reelection if she voted for Kavanaugh, with 47% saying they were less likely to back her.

Even after reports surfaced detailing Kavanaugh's purported actions, Collins stood by him. Last September, Collins dismissed the reports as merely "so many rumors" and invoked "issues with Christine Ford’s yearbook," echoing smears of Christine Blasey Ford, who spoke out about Kavanaugh and assault.

Despite purporting to stand for women's rights and in defense of health care reform, Collins soon voted to confirm Kavanaugh in October. Within months, she was accepting campaign donations from groups outside Maine who were pleased with her vote.

In the month following her Kavanaugh vote, she went from 45% approval to 39%.

"It marked a 9-percentage-point downward shift in her net approval from Oct. 6-Nov. 6," Morning Consult reported last November.

After Collins backed Trump's Supreme Court pick, she continued to vote for his agenda for most of her votes in Congress.

By July, polling showed Collins to be the second most unpopular senator in America, second only to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Maine signaled early to Collins that they wanted her to stop marching in lockstep with Trump and more in line with the state's independent streak. Instead, Collins said the change in public sentiment was about "dark money groups" attacking her.

Maine voters have soured on Collins. No matter what she says about what happened, the numbers don't lie and it can be traced to the fateful day she gave Kavanaugh the go-ahead.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.