Susan Collins is painted into a corner -- but she has no one to blame but herself: analysis
Susan Collins photo by Keith Mellnick

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is fighting for her political career with a Democratic opponent who consistently outraises her and is dancing on the margin of error in state's polls.


A Washington Post analysis explained that these problems are almost entirely Collins' doing, noting she has no one else to blame but herself.

Nationwide, GOP senate candidates are struggling to win while trying to hold onto President Donald Trump's coattails at the same time.

"All these Republican candidates are in the unenviable position of needing Trump to win (his base is loyal and doesn't take defections lightly) and worrying that aligning with Trump means they'll lose all the voters with whom he's unpopular (Trump is behind former vice president Joe Biden by double digits in a Washington Post-ABC News poll)," said the report.

Collins is trying to figure out another path to get herself out between a rock and a hard place.

"Collins's strategy is a risky one even for someone like her who has spent decades building an independent brand, and she seems to know it," said the analysis. "She offered tortured logic to explain her position to reporters: Essentially, she's up for reelection, so therefore she won't take a side. (In 2016, when she wasn't on the ballot, she actively opposed Trump and didn't vote for him.) "

"I'm focused on my job and also on my own campaign, and I'm just not going to get involved in presidential politics," Collins claimed in March.

"As I said, I have a difficult race. And I am concentrating my efforts on that race," Collins said, changing her tune on Tuesday.

It also appears to be a new excuse, since she overwhelmingly supported Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) when he ran in 2008.

"Collins's logic is reminiscent of another New England Republican, former Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), who was running for reelection in 2016 and said she supported but wouldn't endorse Trump. Ayotte lost her tight race," the analysis said.

It's possible, however, that Collins is being more honest than she's letting on. Maybe the fact that she's up for reelection is the reason she wants nothing to do with Trump, and that's why she's not commenting. The problem is that either option isn't a good one. She's already alienated Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning Independent voters. If she bails on Trump now, she'll lose Republicans who continue to worship him.

Collins' Democratic opponent, House Speaker Sarah Gideon, scored a major win after Collins supported Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. An election account was started for the Democrat who won the primary. No one even knew Gideon would be the candidate at the time, they were just furious at Collins for trying to talk out of both sides of her mouth.

If Collins was the "independent" she claims to be, she could easily have walked the line between Maine Republicans without alienating Independents and infuriating Democrats. Instead, the path out from between a rock and a hard place is narrowing by the day.

Read the full analysis at the Washington Post.