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The 2020 Maine Senatorial race pitted Susan Collins, the incumbent Republican Senator, against Sara Gideon, the democratic challenger. Susan Collins won the race, by a fairly comfortable margin, currently around 51-44%.

There is a story behind the election, but the story doesn't totally accord with what happened. For years, Maine had been represented by two female, moderate Republican senators: Olympia Snowe, who retired in 2012 and had her seat replaced by Angus King, an independent, and Susan Collins. As the Republican Party moved rightward for the beginning part of the century, and then steadily broke with reality over the past few years, there was a sense that it would be impossible to be a "moderate Republian" in Maine. Collins' challenger, Sara Gideon, was young, and backed by popular opinion against Trump, as well as campaign contributions. Collins had spent years trying to distance herself from Trump, showing "concern" or "disturbance" at his various illegal and unethical activities. The sense, and the polling, was that Collins would lose to Gideon, and that it would be one of many seats that would switch control to the Democratic Party.

For whatever reason, it didn't happen. Perhaps it was retail politis: Maine is a small state, and Collins had worked up personal relationships with voters over two decades in office. But there were other states, including North Carolina and Iowa where expected Democratic gains didn't materialize. For whatever reason, the voters of Maine returned Susan Collins to the senate, where, despite her glib description as a "moderate", she will probably be happily riding the crazy train. Susan Collins is one of a few Republican Senators who acknowledged Biden's victory, because at this point, a "moderate Republican" is one who is willing to at least theoretically acknowledge reality.

And what are we to do with all our stereotypes? The voters of Maine, despite their vote in the presidential election, still looked at the dumpster fire train wreck that was the Trump years, and decided that as long as Collins put a frowny face on about it, they would continue to endorse it. So this is what the famous sobriety and reasonableness of New England comes down to: endorsing the thinnest veneer of civility in the face of Dada fascism. The exact outcome of this race I will probably forget, but that the basic outlines of Trump's Republican Party was okay to the people of Maine is something that I will not forget.

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