The 2020 election was a rejection of the "far-left" policies of people like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told "The Story" in an exclusive interview Monday. 

Collins, who defeated Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon to secure a fifth term in the upper chamber of Congress, also told host Martha MacCallum that "the polling industry needs to take a hard look at what it does."

In one of the more spectacular polling misses of this cycle, Collins defeated Gideon by 8.8 percentage points, despite trailing in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

"I noticed that all of these polls had an online component which I believe makes them less reliable," said Collins, who also suggested that pollsters had difficulty reaching voters in Republican-leaning rural areas like Maine's Aroostook County.

Malliotakis: GOP's 'red wave' a referendum on socialist agendaVideo

"I also think there's more reluctance of voters to participate in polls," added Collins, who said the media must be more judicious in terms of publicizing poll results.

Turning to the incoming Joe Biden administration, Collins identified several areas of common ground.

"I hope, for example, that we could work on an infrastructure package," she said. "We need a lot of repairs and replacements not only of roads, some bridges and improvements in our seaports and airports, but we need rural broadband."

Collins listed other priorities as "jobs, the economy, helping our small businesses, another round of the Paycheck Protection Program, which preserved so many jobs during this pandemic [and] which I was the chief architect of, and also making health care more affordable. Those are all priorities where I hope that we can come up with common sense solutions."

By contrast, Collins said voters rejected several tenets of the far left's platform, including packing the Supreme Court, Medicare-for-All and defunding police departments.


"Those are far-left ideas and I know Bernie sincerely believes in them, but I think it's pretty clear that most of America does not," she said.

"I don't think we should compromise on the far-left agenda that Bernie and others are pushing, but I do think there are ways to work together on everything from another COVID relief bill to deal with the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, to an infrastructure package as I just mentioned, and also making the market more competitive for prescription drugs to help bring down the price."

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