An Associated Press story on Monday attempted to explain Maine’s two moderate Republican senators, both of whom are playing key roles in the Obama administration’s agenda. Though Maine has voted for Democratic candidates in the last five presidential
elections, voters gave Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe big victories in their last elections. How do you explain this dynamic? Are the senators careful to remain sensitive to the more liberal majority of their constituents? Do they risk alienating their
conservative base by voting with the Democrats? Or are they secure in remaining independent enough as they approach such matters as the stimulus package and health care reform?