Less Than Five Percent, or $98,000, of Susan Collins' Fundraising Came From Maine in Her Second Quarter 2019 Fundraising. Her Transformation to Right-Wing Special Interest Puppet Is Complete.

August 3, 2019

 
Senator Susan Collins is beholden to special interests outside of her home state of Maine ( Fortune Live Media )

Senator Susan Collins is beholden to special interests outside of her home state of Maine (Fortune Live Media)

By American Bridge 21st Century

Senator Susan Collins’ 2019 quarter two FEC report revealed that her transformation from moderate Republican to right-wing special interest puppet is complete. The report paints a picture of a Senator beholden to deep-pocketed special interest donors who are rewarding her for her vote for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and her reticence to criticize President Trump or his administration.

For two quarters in a row, Collins has raised abysmally small percentages of her fundraising hauls from Mainers. This quarter, less than 5%, or $98,000, of her itemized fundraising came from Maine. The quarter before, it was 1%. Meanwhile, the money Collins is raising from special interests like Texas fossil fuel tycoons and Wall Street financiers has increased: she pulled in $301,350 from the banking and finance sectors this quarter. By comparison, Collins received$544,894 from the financial industry during the entirety of her 2014 reelection campaign.

It’s no coincidence that as Collins has raked in more money from special interests, her record has shifted sharply right. During the last Republican administration, Collins sided with President George W. Bush roughly 76% of the time. In keeping with her moderate profile, she voted with President Obama 75% of the time. But in the first two years of the Trump administration, she’s voted in line with Trump at a rate of nearly 92%.

Mainers know their senior Senator no longer represents them — and that she’s not bothered to seek their financial support for her reelection. Accordingly, Collins now has the second-lowest approval rating in the Senate, behind only Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A Morning Consult poll of Mainers taken in the second quarter of 2019 put her approval rating at 45 percent, to 48 percent disapproval — a 16-point drop from her approval rating at the beginning of 2017.

As we said at the outset of this election cycle, Collins has an untenable path to victory. She needs a massive financial boost from national Republicans to offset increasing energy and enthusiasm among Maine Democrats. But to win that support, she needs to vote with big-moneyed special interests and their Republican allies. She’s been attempting to walk that line for two years, but while she still rhetorically champions the Republican moderation she espoused in the 1990s, her record reveals a portrait of an extreme conservative. Collins’ latest fundraising report is proof positive of that right-wing transformation.