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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

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.