Former President Barack Obama has released a one-minute ad in support of Democrat Sara Gideon’s run against four-term Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

Obama endorsed Gideon and dozens of other candidates in August, but the ad takes the former president’s support to a new level. Obama did not mention Collins by name but emphasized the national attention on this race in particular.

“In Maine, you’ve got a big responsibility this year,” Obama says. “Not only are you choosing who represents you in Washington, you could also determine which party controls the Senate. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Sara Gideon.”

Obama cited Gideon’s work on health care and taxes and called her “a strong voice for Maine.”

“Without her, Republicans might maintain control of the Senate,” he said. “But you can help elect Sara Gideon and make sure if Joe Biden wins, he’ll have a Senate ready to work with him to move our country forward.”

Gideon tweeted the video Monday morning.

“This election will determine who controls the Senate,” she wrote. “In order to continue to get things done for Mainers – and elect a Senate that will move our country forward – we need to win this race. I am proud to have @BarackObama’s support in this fight.”

Obama remains a popular public figure, and the ad could be a boost for Gideon in a tight race. YouGov, an international research data and analytics group, reported that 58 percent of Americans have a positive opinion of the former president this year.

Recent polls have consistently shown Collins trailing Gideon by as little as 1 percentage point and as many as 12 points, with most putting the gap at 4 to 5 percentage points.

Independents Max Linn and Lisa Savage are also candidates in the four-way race.


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