By David Sharp, The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine - Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has brushed aside a challenge by Democrat Shenna Bellows to win a fourth term.
Collins is the last moderate Republican from New England in Congress. She has remained popular in a state where independents comprise the largest voting bloc.
Collins won early endorsements from national groups that usually lean Democratic, like the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental group and the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights group. She also had a fundraising advantage.
Bellows is the former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. She walked 350 miles across Maine to lift her profile and campaigned on Democratic staples like increasing the minimum wage and protecting Social Security.