Thursday March 08, 2012 | 12:59 PM

Sen. Susan Collins says Senate centrists are not a dying breed.

In a Washington Post op-ed piece, the Maine Republican, regarded as a GOP moderate, bemoans the retirement of her colleague from Maine, GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe. Collins says that senators being in "perpetual campaign" mode has transformed the "world's "greatest deliberative body" into the kind of polarized, hyper partisan place that Snowe says caused her to not seek reelection to a fourth term.

But Collins insists the middle can hold.

"The wide electoral swings of recent years suggest that voters have lost patience with candidates who run as pragmatists but then govern as partisans," Collins wrote. "These trends, and the embryonic signs of bipartisanship in the Senate, give me confidence that the political center will reemerge. That is, after all, where most Americans are."

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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