Pine Tree Watch interviews Fried about 2020 race for Sen. Collins’ seat

Pine Tree Watch interviewed Amy Fried, a professor of political science at the University of Maine, for an article about whether U.S. Sen. Susan Collins will run in 2020, and potential challengers to her seat. “At this point it certainly looks like she’s running. I know she’s been going around the country raising money,” said Fried. Ranked-choice voting will be a factor in the 2020 race, according to the article. “It’s not going to be something where you can get out with a very narrow percentage,” Fried said. “You have to also be someone who’s going to attract some other voters. So a very right-wing Republican, say, would have to be someone who could also build consensus with the other side. And same with Democrats: a left-wing choice would have to be more broadly acceptable. That’s a big deal.” The split in political leaning between districts in Maine also is a consideration for potential candidates. “That’s always a big issue for Democrats. If you’re going to win statewide you have to do at least pretty well in the 2nd District,” Fried said. “You don’t have to win the 2nd District overall, but you have to cut the margins. And I think we saw that with (now Gov. Janet) Mills, certainly.” Collins has done well in the past, appealing to voters in both districts and both parties, according to the article. “Last time she got almost 70 percent of the vote, and she did very well across the political spectrum. If she wins (in 2020), she’s not going to win with that kind of margin this time,” said Fried. “I think she’s favored, without a doubt. But I would not say she’s absolutely going to win. There’s a lot of things that can happen in the meantime.”