Friday January 18, 2013 | 12:22 PM

WASHINGTON – Washington's political prognosticators and journalists are already gearing up for the 2014 mid-term elections. But so far, they’re not seeing too much excitement in Maine’s congressional races.

On Thursday, the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call said that Maine Sen. Susan Collins appears to be a safe bet for re-election, at least at this early stage. Roll Call’s Joshua Miller and Abby Livingston wrote:

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is a Republican in a state that’s not. She’s a moderate and bipartisan in a party that’s not. Yet it would be tough for her to be an safer, politically, as she looks toward re-election in 2014.

“She may be the strongest Republican incumbent in the country,” GOP consultant Erik Potholm, who hails from Maine, wrote in an email. “She has sky-high approval numbers and has become a political rock star in Maine.”

The full article can be found here.

While not everyone would confer “political rock star” status on Collins, many others in Maine’s political establishment will likely agree with Potholm’s assessment and the piece’s overall conclusion.

Like her recently retired former colleague from Maine, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Collins is not only well-regarded by many moderate Republicans in the state but also by many Democrats and independents. So the biggest threat would likely come from a primary challenger courting the conservative vote.

Of course, Snowe was pretty much considered a sure thing for Republicans in 2012 right up until the day last February that she surprised everyone by dropping her re-election bid. That seat is now filled by Sen. Angus King, an independent caucusing with the Democrats.

 

 

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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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