In the day after Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) threw her support behind embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a crowdsourced effort to finance her eventual 2020 opponent raised more than $1 million.
The whopping sum brought the total amount raised to just about $3.2 million ― far more than Collins’ last challenger spent in total in the 2014 midterm race. More than 100,000 pledges have been made as of Saturday afternoon, with around 30,000 of those coming in the previous 24 hours.
The Crowdpac page was so popular it briefly crashed Friday afternoon. The effort is jointly led by the Maine People’s Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership and activist Ady Barkan, who co-founded the progressive Be A Hero campaign.
Although she is known as a centrist, Collins’ vote all but guaranteed Kavanaugh a seat on the Supreme Court bench. The nominee was confirmed Saturday by a margin of 50-48, one of the narrowest in U.S. history.
The left is now dead set on kicking her out of office. Sources told HuffPost that major donors have already pledged an additional $1 million to support voter registration efforts in Maine in an effort to unseat her.
She was previously one of a handful of undecided senators before announcing her intention on Friday afternoon to confirm Kavanaugh. Earlier in the day, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he would vote yes, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) indicated she opposed the nomination, placing Kavanaugh’s fate in the hands of Collins and Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat facing reelection in right-leaning West Virginia. Manchin released a statement immediately after Collins’ announcement also pledging his support for Kavanaugh.
Before Collins began speaking shortly after 3 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, the Crowdpac page stood at $1,945,000, a representative for the fundraiser told HuffPost.
The site charged donors’ credit cards when Collins officially voted in favor of Kavanaugh, and the page will remain open for an unspecified amount of time to collect further donations. Organizers told HuffPost the funds will sit in an escrow account until a Democratic opponent emerges.
In a statement issued last month, Collins’ spokeswoman sharply dismissed the Crowdpac effort as a bribery attempt.
Kavanaugh stands accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. His confirmation process was disrupted when the first woman, Christine Blasey Ford, came forward publicly to detail her story in an early September interview with The Washington Post.
Ford testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, telling senators that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982.
In a Saturday appearance on CNN, Collins suggested that she does not believe the incident happened as Ford says.
Organizers of the Crowdpac fundraiser told HuffPost Friday that they would double down to ensure the senator’s career is finished after 2020.
“This is the worst vote she’s ever made in her life,” Be A Hero co-founder Liz Jaff told HuffPost.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) seemed aware of the efforts to unseat her. He told reporters Saturday that defending her seat in 2020 was a “top priority.”
This story has been updated with McConnell’s remarks.