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Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

GOP Sen. Susan Collins has won re-election against Democrat Sara Gideon (D) in Maine, AP projects.

Why it matters: Collins has served in the Senate for 24 years, but has faced tougher re-election battles in recent years. Democrats had expected a defeat for the moderate Republican to play a crucial role in their efforts win back the Senate.

Context: Collins had faced backlash at home for frequently voting with President Trump, who is unpopular in Maine. The senator came under fire for backing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and voting to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial.

  • Gideon, who serves as Maine's House speaker, latched on to Collins' drop in popularity, launching a moderate Democratic bid that has promised pragmatic policymaking.
  • Cook Political Report had rated the Maine Senate race as a "toss up."
Data: AP; Chart: Naema Ahmed, Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti/Axios

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin and Susan Collins. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least nine Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

2 mins ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge following holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data updates.

4 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”