Virtually 100 years in the past, the Vermont-born former Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge was president — and extensively thought-about the nation’s most conservative president alongside Ronald Regan.
In 1936, solely the states of Maine and Vermont went to Republican presidential nominee Alf Landon when Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt gained a large reelection landslide.
Within the 1950s, a GOP political dynasty was born in Connecticut with the election of Sen. Prescott Bush.
As we speak, Maine Sen. Susan Collins isn’t solely preventing for her political life in one of many most-watched races, however she can also be is the final vestige of New England GOP illustration in Congress from what was a closely Republican area in a bygone period.
Though three of the six New England states — Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont — have reasonable Republican governors, 10 of the area’s 12 senators are Democrats, whereas Maine’s junior senator, Angus King, is an unbiased who caucuses with Democrats.
Collins, seemingly the one Republican to vote towards the affirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court docket and certainly one of three GOP senators to vote towards repealing ObamaCare in 2018, is touting her bipartisanship — however she’s been blasted by President Trump over her Barrett stance.
The reasonable Collins is touting her bipartisanship together with federal cash she’s steered towards Maine as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Collins was the co-sponsor of the Paycheck Safety Program, a forgivable federal mortgage program to companies to encourage employers to maintain employees on workers.
Her opponent, Maine’s Democratic Speaker of the Home Sara Gideon, is difficult Collins for voting to verify Justice Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court docket, backing Trump’s tax cuts and for voting towards eradicating Trump from workplace within the Senate impeachment trial in February. Former President Barack Obama not too long ago did an advert for Gideon, who leads Collins by 4.2% within the Real Clear Politics common of polls. The Cook Political Report ranks the race as a tossup.
Gideon, who has been happening her “Well being Care is on the Poll” tour, says Collins voting for many of Trump’s judicial nominees has endangered the Inexpensive Care Act.
“The folks of Maine deserve a senator who will put them first,” Gideon wrote in an op-ed for the Seacoast On-line. “They deserve a senator who will put partisan politics apart to ship outcomes. Within the Senate, I’ll combat each day to verify all Mainers have entry to high quality, reasonably priced well being care.”
Collins has survived the nationwide headwinds earlier than. She was first elected in 1996 when Democratic President Invoice Clinton cruised to reelection. She additionally gained in 2008, capturing all 16 counties and outperforming Obama within the state by 4%. Most not too long ago, she was reelected in 2014 — a powerful Republican yr — by 23% over her opponent.
However, in these previous elections, Collins wasn’t the final congressional Republican standing in a former GOP stronghold.
“Traditionally, New England has been a Republican hotbed, however traditionally not a conservative one,” Matthew Gagnon, CEO of the Maine Coverage Institute, a conservative state suppose tank, advised Fox Information. “It has been extra a blue blood, WASPY group that helps massive infrastructure tasks, extra like Teddy Roosevelt than Ronald Reagan.”
The GOP bench from the area was often characterised as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The Day, a newspaper in New London, Conn., editorialized early this yr: “Washington was a greater place when Republican senators akin to John Chaffee of Rhode Island, Lowell Weicker of Connecticut and Edward Brooke of Massachusetts held sway. Govt energy was held accountable and issues received accomplished.”
The American Conservative’s senior editor, Matt Purple, wrote in August, the regional shift started beneath President George W. Bush and escalated beneath Trump however has as a lot — or extra — to do with perspective as coverage.
“Bush’s tax cuts and deficits offended a few of the area’s historically thrifty Republicans,” Purple wrote however added the nationwide GOP “ceased to be a coalition of values and has as an alternative turn out to be a vanguard within the tradition struggle” specializing in pro-life insurance policies, the Second Modification and opposing political correctness that doesn’t match with New Englanders.
The change in New England was much less of a regional shift and extra of a political change, Gagnon stated.
“General, the politics has modified over a number of a long time within the Northeast and the Democratic Get together has constructed an infrastructure and outorganized Republicans,” Gagnon stated. “However the concept is oversold that Republicans or conservatives can’t win on this area. We’ve seen in recent times that’s not true.
In 2016, Trump captured one electoral vote from Maine — certainly one of two states that divide Electoral Faculty votes by congressional districts. Trump misplaced the state by lower than 3%. New Hampshire was additionally very shut in 2016.
Gagnon referred to the previous Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s victories in 2010 and 2014 and Sen. Scott Brown successful a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts in a 2010 particular election. That stated, Collins has constructed a unique political base from LePage’s extra conservative model.
“Her coalition based mostly round Democrats, independents and left-leaning centrists, is eroding,” Gagnon stated. “LePage was elected and reelected with a wholly totally different base.”
— to www.foxnews.com