Who is Sara Gideon? All about the Democrat who's leading GOP Senator Susan Collins by 12 points in Maine

The Gideon-Collins race is one of the most crucial for Senate control next year and has been one of the most expensive races in the nation


                            Who is Sara Gideon? All about the Democrat who's leading GOP Senator Susan Collins by 12 points in Maine
Sara Gideon (Getty Images)
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Democrat Sara Gideon has a great lead in the Maine Senate race over GOP Senator Susan Collins. According to Politico, this result diverges from other data showing a close contest as Collins seeks a fifth term in this election.

The report states that the poll from Quinnipiac University was one of three surveys released on September 16. A poll in Kentucky shows senate majority leader Mitch McConnell with a double-digit lead over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath in Kentucky and a tied race in South Carolina between GOP Senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat Jaime Harrison.

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As per the poll, the report states that Gideon had 54 percent support among likely voters compared with 42 percent support for Collins, a 12 point advantage. According to Politico, the RealClearPolitics polling average had Gideon ahead by 4.5 percentage points. In August, a survey from Quinnipiac presented Gideon ahead among all registered voters, 47 percent to 43 percent. As per the report, the Gideon-Collins race is one of the most crucial for Senate control next year and has been one of the most expensive races in the nation. According to NBC news, more than $133M has been spent on TV and radio advertising in Senate races so far, according to Advertising Analytics. As per NBC news, so far by ad spending in Senate races, the number in Maine is $25.6M.

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In South Carolina, Harrison and Graham were tied at 48 percent support from likely voters. While in Kentucky, McConnell had a huge lead over McGrath, 53 percent to 41 percent among likely voters.

The report further states that President Donald Trump is leading in Kentucky and South Carolina by lower margins than he won those two states in 2016. In Maine, the poll shows Biden is in the front by more than 20 points, 59 percent to 38 percent — a far greater Democratic advantage than Hillary Clinton's 3-point advantage over Trump in 2016.

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According to Politico, all three surveys were conducted from September 10-14. In Kentucky, 1,164 likely voters were surveyed, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. In Maine, Quinnipiac surveyed 1,183 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. In South Carolina, pollsters surveyed 969 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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Who is Sara Gideon?

Gideon is the daughter of an Indian father and an Armenian mother. She is serving as the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and is a member of the Maine Democratic Party, representing the towns of Freeport and Pownal. According to her website, Gideon had supported job training legislation to address Maine's workforce shortage and increase economic opportunity across the state. The website also states: "She passed a landmark bill to provide property tax refunds to Maine homeowners, and Sara’s bipartisan LIFT legislation has focused on expanding educational opportunities to make sure Maine families have a chance at financial independence."

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As per India Abroad website, "Whether it’s been on the town council, as a state representative or as Maine’s speaker of the House, I’ve learned that if you listen and if you are willing to work with others, it’s still possible to get things done," she said in a video announcing her decision to run against Collins on June 24. In July, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced its endorsement of Gideon. As per Boston Spirit Magazine, HRC, the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy and political lobbying organization in the country, made its announcement immediately after Gideon won her state’s Democratic primary with over 70% of the vote on July 14. As per the report, Gideon said, "Every Mainer, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves a seat at the table in discussions about our future and I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign in this race."

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In 2019, she faced an election ethics complaint for violating a political donation law by accepting reimbursements for her personal political donations from her own PAC. According to The Hill, former state Senator Ed Youngblood (R) filed complaints with the Federal Elections Commission and the Maine Ethics Commission alleging that Gideon broke the law. As per the report, Gideon apologized for it and cited "incorrect guidance" as the reason after the Washington Free Beacon first reported about it. In October 2019, the Maine Ethics Commission voted unanimously and fined the closed PAC $500 and ended the state ethics case against her.
 
People reacted to the survey results on Twitter. One user said, "Oh please, Maine, get rid of Collins. She's painful to listen to and she needs to go, it's time." Another said, "If there's any cosmic justice in the world, Sara Gideon will win this race." One user commented, "The closer dems get to a super majority, the safer this country gets. They've already got a solid hold on taking the Senate as it stands. This type of news is just icing."

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