So if Republican voters want someone knew, they better find a candidate very soon. Otherwise they're left with Collins. I can't say that I'm surprised by these numbers. Collins has been making a big name in the press for bucking her own party on several votes including ENDA, repealing DADT and the VAWA. The press also makde her look like a hero for her role in helping end the government shutdown. Now Collins has also sided with her party on several votes but with the media's obsession about the moderate Republican becoming an endangered species, the odds are in Collins favor. Who knows if Collins ends up taking a page from Olympia Snowe's page and decides to call it quits because she can't stomach what her party's become. But right now there's no indication of that. She might actually want to stick it out to send a message that the GOP still has moderates. That message is resonating in Maine but not throughout the entire country. Bellows is an excellent candidate but she has her work cut out for her, especially when it comes to winning back Democratic and Independent voters who are voting for Collins. With a little less than a year away from Election Day, anything can happen. Collins might end up calling it quits or the Tea Party might get lucky and find their candidate. Who knows.Susan Collins has a 14 point lead over Democratic challenger Shenna Bellows...with Democrats. Overall Collins leads 59-20, including a 38 point advantage with independents. Collins continues to be among the 5 most popular Senators in the country with a 61% approval rating to only 27% of voters who disapprove of her. She's well liked across party lines with her strongest numbers actually coming among Democrats (63/25), followed by Republicans (61/27), and independents (58/28).
If Collins has any potential vulnerability next year it continues to come with the Republican primary electorate. 44% of GOP voters say they'd support a more conservative alternative to her next year, compared to 48% who say they'd support Collins in a primary. Only 38% of Republican voters think she actually belongs in their party compared to 26% who think she should be an independent and 22% who believe she should be a Democrat. Still Collins' vulnerability in a primary remains theoretical given her lack of serious opposition at this point. - PPP, 11/13/13
But Collins isn't the only popular Maine politician. Senator Angus King (I. ME) has some impressive approval numbers, 54/25. Marriage equality is even more popular now that it's legal in Maine, 54/37. Hillary Clinton would be the early favorite to win Maine in 2016. She beats Chris Christie (R. NJ) 47/39, Jeb Bush (R. FL) 55/32, Rand Paul (R. KY) 57/32 and Ted Cruz (R. TX) 57/30. 27% of Maine Republican voters prefer Christie has the nominee in 2016. 14% for Ted Cruz, 12% for Jeb Bush, 10% for Rand Paul, 9% for Paul Ryan, 4% for Marco Rubio, 2% for Bobby Jindal, and 1% each for Rick Santorum and Scott Walker.
But don't let this poll discourage you. I strongly recommend you check out, donate or get involved with Bellows campaign. As the head of the Maine ACLU chapter, she has an amazing record on civil liberties and deserves our support. You can click here to do so: