Incumbent U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, left, and Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, right, who are running in the Nov. 3, 2020, election to represent Maine in the U.S. Senate.
Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins is the apparent winner of her reelection fight against state House Speaker Sara Gideon, according to NBC News. Gideon conceded on Wednesday afternoon.
NBC News calls a candidate the “apparent winner” when they are projected to win but the race remains close enough that it could be affected by a recount or other factors.
“Thank you, thank you. I will serve you with all my heart. I will work hard for you each and every day,” Collins told supporters in a video posted to her Twitter account. “We will come together to work on the problems and challenges that are facing our state and our country.”
The hard fought race was shadowed by Collins’ vote in 2018 to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, which was seen as a betrayal by activist groups in the state, who had previously supported the Republican moderate.
That wound was reopened after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September.
After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged to seat Ginsburg’s replacement before Election Day, Collins broke with the party and said she opposed such a hurried timeline. She was the lone Republican to vote against the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett last month.
The race was one of the most expensive of the cycle, with approximately $100 million raised in all, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Gideon outspent Collins dramatically, dropping about $50 million on her bid to deny Collins a fifth term. Collins spent around $23 million.
Maine’s Senate contest was seen not only as a referendum on Collins, but also as a test of the country’s growing partisan polarization. Collins, the only Republican senator from New England, is one of a vanishing number of lawmakers considered to be moderates.
The Caribou native was dogged by President Donald Trump’s deep unpopularity in Maine, and declined to say ahead of the election whether she would cast her vote for him.
Trump is projected to lose the presidential race in Maine to former Vice President Joe Biden, NBC News is projecting. Biden led Trump by about 11 points in the state with 82% of the expected vote in.