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Mitch McConnell is no longer the most unpopular senator — now it’s Susan Collins

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Image via screengrab.

For years, the most unpopular senator in Morning Consult rankings has been Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It’s hard to love Senate leadership — to the Democrats, he is the face of evil, and to Republicans, his every failure to deliver on a specific policy counts against him.

But according to the latest rankings, that title no longer belongs to McConnell. Instead, the most unpopular senator is now Maine’s Susan Collins:

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This is an incredible turnaround. Just five years ago, Collins was the second most popular senator, behind only Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). For most of her career, she has enjoyed strong cross-party support, owing to her personal brand as a bipartisan legislator.

That has changed in the Trump era. Collins has been a deciding vote many of the president’s most major controversial actions, including the passage of the disastrous corporate tax cuts and the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Legendary author Stephen King, one of Maine’s most famous residents, has made it his goal to defeat her, and she now has a number of Senate challengers in 2020 — most prominently Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, but also several others including former Maine Women’s Forum director Betsy Sweet, defense attorney Bre Kidman, and independent candidate Tiffany Bond.

McConnell himself is also facing re-election in November.

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Trump’s most unhinged supporters paying $5 a pop to use special emojis on YouTube

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The pro-Trump cable network One America News is cashing in on QAnon conspiracy theorists on its YouTube channel.

OAN viewers can pay $4.95 a month to become "members" of the right-wing channel, which then allows them to use customized emojis to signal their recognition of the conspiracy theory's lore, reported The Daily Beast.

"It’s not clear how many people have signed up for the OAN YouTube membership, when OAN started offering the emojis, or how many of those sign-ups were driven by the opportunity to use QAnon emojis," writes The Beast's Will Sommer. "But the creation of the emojis reflects a decision to monetize, not expel, the conspiracy believers. If QAnon fans are going to spam QAnon in the OAN comments, it seems the network has decided they might as well get some money out of it."

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2020 Election

Former federal prosecutor explains how AG Barr could help Trump steal the election — and take the US to ‘a very dark place’

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Between the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest in major U.S. cities, huge anti-racism protests, bitter political divisions, a heated Supreme Court battle and President Donald Trump’s ruthless voter suppression efforts, the United States’ 2020 presidential election is turning out to be even more chaotic than the elections of 2000 and 1968. Trump has a devoted loyalist in U.S. Attorney General William Barr, and former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade discusses the effect he could have on the 2020 election in a disturbing op-ed published in the Washington Post on September 22.

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You’d think Mitch McConnell would use RBG’s open seat to drive election turnout — but he has a different goal in mind

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President Trump repeatedly says that he's accomplished more than any president in history. I've never heard anyone ask him to lay out specifically what he means by that. He can try to take credit for signing big tax cuts for the wealthy, but that was passed by the Republican Congress with little input from him. It's true that his executive branch agencies have overturned many environmental rules and other regulations, but he hasn't been involved and clearly doesn't know the details.Trump's corruption has given his consigliere, Attorney General Bill Barr, the opportunity to further his own "powerful executive" theory. His craven pandering to white supremacists and the evangelical right has kept the base bonded tightly to the Republican Party. But beyond that his list of accomplishments is nil. He has literally done nothing but run his mouth and turn the U.S. into an object of fear and pity around the world
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