2020 Maine US Senate Candidate Guide

Susan Collins (R) vs Sara Gideon (D)

US Senate | Election | Nov 10, 2020

The Candidates

Susan Collins

Susan Collins

Republican

Incumbent
Sara Gideon

Sara Gideon

Democrat

The Issues

Affordable Care Act

Support Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?

Campaign Finance

Require more disclosure about sources of campaign financing? Overturn Citizens United decision allowing corporations and unions unlimited political spending?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. Voters “have the right to know who is contributing,” but called DISCLOSE Act “a partisan bill that would not fix the real problem.” Did not support constitutional amendment to roll back Citizens United.

Climate Change

Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat? Address as top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. Co-sponsored Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. Joined Climate Solutions Caucus. Voted to support Keystone XL pipeline construction to transport Canadian tar sands oil to U.S. refineries.

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. “One of the most urgent challenges we face.” Co-sponsored bill to “limit greenhouse gas pollution.” Committed to rejoining Paris Agreement. Calls “bold and immediate action on climate change” a top priority.

COVID-19

Support administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic?

Sara Gideon (D)

No. Accused President Trump of slowing delivery of relief for political gain.

Support administration’s economic response to coronavirus pandemic?

Susan Collins (R)

Co-authored Paycheck Protection Program; calls for additional $250 billion. Supports COVID-19 funding for education.

Sara Gideon (D)

Calls for support of various sectors during the pandemic, including the lobster industry, local governments, and farmers.

Environment

Tighten or loosen environmental protections?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. Supported environmental protections such as preventing Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling. However, opposed Obama designation of Maine’s Katahdin region as national monument.

Sara Gideon (D)

Tighten. Calls environmental stewardship “deeply important to our livelihoods.” Voted to ban foam containers and single-use plastic bags. Introduced water quality bill to protect tribal sustenance fishing.

Financial Regulation

Tighten or loosen oversight of banks and credit card companies?

Susan Collins (R)

Loosen. Voted to repeal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule allowing class action suits against banks & credit card companies.

Sara Gideon (D)

No position found.

Gun Control

Enact more restrictive legislation on firearms?

Susan Collins (R)

Yes. Supported background checks bill and assault weapons ban. Reintroduced “red flag” bill to “prevent individuals posing a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing firearms.”

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. Supports “universal background checks and red flag laws.” Co-sponsored a “red flag” bill, prohibiting guns from “extremely dangerous and suicidal individuals.”

Immigration

Create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including “Dreamers” brought to U.S. as children?

Susan Collins (R)

Yes. Co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to provide a path to citizenship for “Dreamers.”

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. Urged Maine’s congressional delegation to support the DREAM Act, with conditional legal status for undocumented youth.

Impeachment

Support U.S. Senate calling witnesses and voting to convict President Trump?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. Was one of two Republican senators to vote to hear witnesses, but subsequently voted to acquit Trump.

Susan Collins (R)

Yes. By not calling witnesses, the Senate failed to provide “the fair impeachment trial that Mainers and Americans deserved.”

Iran

Require congressional approval for military attacks on Iran?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. “I believe the strike that killed Soleimani was justified, but that sustained hostilities committing American troops would require congressional approval.”

Sara Gideon (D)

No. The administration must explain “the imminent threat facing American soldiers and why [a strike is] absolutely necessary. … Congress must provide oversight.”

Labor

Support strengthening the rights of unions?

Susan Collins (R)

No. Voted to advance President Trump’s nomination of anti-union lawyer Eugene Scalia to head Department of Labor. Given a 45% lifetime score by AFL-CIO for record on labor rights. Yes. Co-sponsored Maine House bill to require public employers to grant unions right to meet with and get information on employees. Endorsed by major Maine labor unions.

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. Co-sponsored Maine House bill to require public employers to grant unions right to meet with and get information on employees. Endorsed by major Maine labor unions.

Legal Abortion

Keep legal or ban?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. Condemned Alabama law banning most abortions. However, voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote in a 2017 judicial opinion that “the Government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life.”

Gay Rights

Support same-sex marriage?

Susan Collins (R)

Yes. Supported same-sex marriage before Supreme Court decision. Supported same-sex veterans’ benefits. Opposed Trump judicial nominee over record on gay rights.

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. Calls for “supporting LGBTQ+ people everywhere.” Opposed Trump judicial nominee Lawrence VanDyke because of his opposition to marriage equality.

Marijuana

Decriminalize or legalize?

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. Voted in 2018 for legislation to implement and regulate legalization in Maine, approved by popular vote in 2016, and to override Governor Page’s veto.

Minimum Wage

Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. In 2014, voted against bill to raise federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Led failed effort to negotiate a compromise for a smaller raise.

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. In 2018, successfully opposed push to repeal minimum-wage increase passed by Maine voters in 2016. Supports raising federal minimum to $15.

Planned Parenthood

Should Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion-related care?

Susan Collins (R)

Mixed. Has opposed efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. But in 2015 voted to defund as part of a deal to secure a DOJ investigation into charges of sale of fetal tissue.

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. Fully fund so Mainers “have access to the health care they need.” Sponsored bill to replace $3 million in lost federal funding for family planning.

Student Financial Aid

Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income individuals and lower interest on student loans?

Sara Gideon (D)

Yes. Will work to “lower the cost of college and tackle the student loan debt crisis.” Sponsored education funds for low-income adults with minor children.

Supreme Court

Positions on Kavanaugh nomination and timing of Ginsburg replacement?

Sara Gideon (D)

No. Said Collins’ pro-Kavanaugh vote “put women’s control over their own health care decisions in extreme jeopardy.” “The next President” should fill Ginsburg vacancy.

Taxes

Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?

Susan Collins (R)

Yes. Voted for Trump tax cuts, saying they would bring “good jobs and greater economic growth.”

Sara Gideon (D)

No. Called 2017 Trump tax cut a “nearly $2 trillion tax break for big corporations and the wealthiest families in America” which “did little for families in Maine.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lisa Savage (Ind.)is also running. Due to limited space, we can only include candidates polling 15%, but do check out her website.