Just in from Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball:
Of 16 publicly-released polls of the race that have come out this year (as compiled by FiveThirtyEight’s database) from nonpartisan, Democratic, and Republican sources, Susan Collins has only led in a single one, a Republican internal poll conducted in mid-June. Collins led 45%-38% in that survey.
A few others have shown Gideon up only a point. But notice that even in this GOP internal, the longtime incumbent Collins was at just 45% of the vote. Across the 16 polls this year, her average support on the ballot has been just 42%. That is not a strong number for an incumbent who surpassed 60% in her last two reelection bids.
Just like in our other Leans Democratic-rated Senate races in states held by Republicans — Arizona and Colorado — there are paths to a Republican comeback. But for now we think Collins is in a difficult enough position that we’re moving the race to Leans Democratic.