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With a rock-solid victory, Susan Collins is ready to negotiate

“My victory shows that a moderate can prevail in this highly polarized environment,” Ms. Collins said. “My victory in Maine shows that you can be an independent voice and take a few breaths, do what you think is right, and the voters, at least in some states, will reward you.”

Ms Collins said she was willing to work with former political enemies to achieve legislative achievements. But after surviving a brutal campaign in which Democrats saved her, Ms Collins has reason to hold a grudge. She pointed out that Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and Leader of the Minority, presented “a challenge” given “the millions of dollars in patently bogus advertising he has launched against me.”

While the precise balance of power in the Senate will remain unknown until two second-round races in Georgia are decided in early January, Republicans are favored to win both seats, likely leaving Mr Biden as the first Democratic president since. Grover Cleveland in 1885 to take office. without Democrats in control of both houses of Congress. A fraction of Republican support – likely that of Ms Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, due for re-election in 2022 – will be needed to advance her legislative and political ambitions.

“It puts her in a very strong position to get things done in the Senate,” said Steve Abbott, her campaign manager and longtime advisor. He described “a particular self-confidence that comes” from “going beyond the odds,” a confidence that he added “strengthens her to the core, to do what she thinks is right.”

In a signal of where power might rest in the 117th Congress, Mr. Biden has yet to speak to Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader. But he insisted on calling Ms Collins before his own victory was cemented. (Mr. Biden officially endorsed Ms. Gideon during the campaign, but did not show up in person with her.)

“I know we technically come from different political backgrounds, but they’re not that different,” Mr Biden said in a 2017 video filmed in honor of Ms Collins receiving an award from the Irish Heritage Center. “We quickly became good friends, and I look forward to your continuing to lead the United States Senate, Susan.

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Democrats have done everything against Susan Collins. Rural Maine winced.

In a state moving away from Mr Trump, Ms Collins seemed like an easy choice and donors poured money into the state. For weeks leading up to the election, polls showed Ms Collins was fighting for her survival, spent two to one by her rival. But on November 3, she won by eight points, largely thanks to a surge of support in small towns.

In Rumford, who toppled the Republican in 2016, voters thought the reasons were clear: The Gideon campaign, they said, was too focused on national politics. It was too negative, they complained. And it cost too much money, too much out-of-state money.

“It was like being a local in Woodstock in 1969,” said Dan Shea, professor of government at Colby College. “At first it was exciting and fun, but at the end it was muddy and dirty. I guess the yields declined in September. “

Targeted ad spending, of course, works in some cases. Arizona’s Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly was backed by $ 38.7 million in donations in the last three months of the race and defeated Martha McSally, the Republican incumbent, in a traditionally conservative state.

But Maine offers an example of how a nationalized and generous effort can backfire. Maine’s media market is tiny, and the cost of advertising is so low that campaigns have struggled to spend the money they had.

As a result, viewers were inundated with commercials starting in the spring, accusing Ms Collins of selling to special interests or ceding to Mr Trump. And these expenses – perceived to come from out of state – were not suitable for many Mainers.

“If you put $ 100 million here, you are trying to buy the election,” said David Libby, 65, a coppersmith from Rumford.

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Woman who sent threat to Susan Collins sentenced to 30 months in prison

A woman who prosecutors said sent a threatening letter to Senator Susan Collins’ home in Maine in October 2018 because she was upset with her vote to confirm Brett M. Kavanaugh as Supreme Court justice was sentenced Thursday to two and a half years in prison. jail.

The woman, Suzanne Muscara, 38, of Burlington, Maine, who was convicted in a one-day trial in November of sending a threatening communication, will also have to complete three years of supervised release after being released. completed his prison term, Judge Lance E. Walker of The Maine US District Court ruled.

The letter to Ms Collins, a Republican, was intercepted at the US Postal Service’s mail sorting center in Hampden, Maine on October 17, 2018, less than two weeks after Mr Kavanaugh was confirmed as a judge, according to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint against Ms. Muscara.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maine, Ms. Muscara was arrested in April 2019 after her fingerprint was identified on an envelope containing a white powder that was later determined to be starch.

The envelope also contained a letter which contained a cartoon of Ms Collins depicting her as a stick with X’s for her eyes. The word “AnthRAX !!!” and “HA HA HA !!!” were also written on the letter. (The Postal Service was monitoring mail addressed to the Senator because of a threatening letter that was received at his home on October 15.)

Ms Muscara told FBI agents that she didn’t think her letter would be taken seriously, according to the affidavit.

“US policy is founded on free speech and vigorous debate,” said Halsey Frank, the US attorney for Maine, in a statement after the conviction. “The real threats are not protected speeches. It’s a crime. Anthrax is a deadly substance that has been used to kill and terrorize. There is nothing funny about it, and the jury in this case rejected the defendant’s claim that her letter was intended as a joke.

James S. Nixon, the public defender who represented Ms Muscara, did not immediately return messages seeking comment on Friday evening.

Ms. Muscara was sentenced to a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $ 250,000. She has been incarcerated since her arrest and will receive credit for the 18 months of her incarceration, Andrew McCormack, a deputy U.S. attorney for the District of Maine, said in an interview Friday.

In a statement, Christopher Knight, a spokesperson for Ms Collins, said: “Senator Collins and her husband, Tom Daffron, are grateful for the vigilance of the postal inspectors and employees of the Hampden processing center and office. Bangor Post Office who quickly intercepted the letter and the extraordinary professionalism and effective investigative work of local, state and federal law enforcement officers.

The conviction came amid a series of threats against elected officials and candidates across the country during this electoral cycle.

In March, a Connecticut man was arrested for threatening California Representative Adam Schiff through his congressional website. That same month, a Texas man was accused of making death threats against President Nancy Pelosi on his Facebook page.

In June, a Mississippi man was accused of threatening Rep. Bennie Thompson and his staff. And this month, the FBI arrested more than a dozen right-wing extremists they accused of plotting to kidnap and assassinate Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.