Progressives Raise More Than $1 Million to Defeat Susan Collins—If She Votes to Confirm Kavanaugh

The Maine moderate Republican isn’t up for reelection until 2020.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) talks with reporters in the Capitol in July.om Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

She’s not up for reelection until 2020, but progressives have already raised more than $1 million to defeat Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins—if she votes to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

As a pro-choice Republican, Collins will provide a key vote on whether to confirm Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge who abortion rights advocates fear could help overturn Roe v. Wade. But Collins is not up for reelection this year, making it difficult for progressives to apply electoral pressure on her to vote no. So instead, they’re raising money for her Democratic opponent in 2020 (whoever he or she might be), should she vote to confirm Kavanaugh. The effort has already surpassed $1 million.

So far, Collins, who has not announced how she will vote, is showing no signs of being swayed by the campaign. She told the conservative outlet Newsmax that the effort is tantamount to a “bribe” and that it “will not influence my vote at all. I think it demonstrates the new lows to which the judge’s opponents have stooped.” The campaign, led by progressive activist Ady Barkan and two state progressive groups, Mainers for Accountable Leadership and the Maine People’s Alliance, asked donors to give $20.20 apiece to oust Collins if she votes yes. If she votes no, the money will be refunded.

As the Portland Press Herald points out, $1 million is nothing to sneeze at: 

The $1 million, in a small, rural state like Maine, is significant funding for a Senate campaign. During the 2014 campaign, where Collins bested her Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows, by a 68 to 32 percent margin, Collins spent $5.5 million and Bellows spent $2.3 million.