Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins has retained her seat in the upper house of Congress, according to the Associated Press.
Collins is on track to win about 50 percent of the vote, compared with about 42 percent for Democrat Sara Gideon.
The Republican, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, was tipped to lose her seat to Gideon before election day. Polls had always placed Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, at the top of the list.
In a survey conducted by Emerson College from October 29 to 31 among 611 likely voters, Gideon was in the lead six points ahead of the election with 48 to 42 percent.
Gideon also overtook Collins, who had accumulated about $69 million by mid-October, compared with the $25 million of the Republican.
The race for the Maine seat was described as the most negative for the U.S. Senate in 2020, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, due to the number of offensive ads. Each candidate accused the other of having placed misleading advertisements during the election campaign.
Although Collins lagged behind in the polls, some results showed an aggravation after her vote against the Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, a decision that might have strengthened her support.
However, she had previously faced a backlash against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The latter had used Gideon as a point to target Collins during the race.
Collins’ vote against Barrett sparked a backlash from Trump that branded her as “not worth the effort.
Trump and Collins had previously clashed. She voted against the American Health Care Act and also said she would not vote for Trump in 2016. She also declined to vote for him in 2020.
In a debate with Gideon, Collins said she would “not get involved in the presidential campaign.
Collins posted a photo in the social media that seemed to blur a Trump campaign sign, even though he had advocated her re-election campaign.
In early 2020, a study by the Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University ranked Collins as the most non-partisan U.S. Senator for the seventh consecutive year.
“I have long believed that Congress produces the best legislation when it incorporates the ideas of both Republicans and Democrats,” she said earlier.
Gideon’s campaign ran on the platform of “putting Maine first.
Gideon’s website said: “She believes that too many politicians in Washington focus more on special interests than on the interests of the people they are supposed to represent.
“As always, Sara Gideon will put Maine first in the Senate,” her website said.