Tightening Michigan race gives GOP hope of hanging on to the Senate

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Tightening Michigan race gives GOP hope of hanging on to the Senate

The case for James

To Republicans, Michigan represents what South Carolina, Montana, or several other red states represent to the Democrats: a difficult state where the party’s challenger has to leave the top of the ticket by a healthy margin to win, however, the Senate competition is more competitive than the presidential race.

It’s not uncommon to go over the top of the ticket. Several Republican senators who won re-election in 2016 outperformed Trump in their states. Democratic senators in 2018 vastly surpassed Hillary Clinton’s past Performance, whether they have won or lost. But a challenger who defeats an incumbent while the president loses his state is extremely rare.

James, a veteran and businessman, has never held public office, but Republicans have long seen him as a candidate who could outperform. They recruited him for the race despite Trump’s advisors pushing back a bit last year. His 7-point loss in 2018 to the state’s other Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow was seen as better than expected – although both national parties had dropped out of the race before he won the primary and he was much less scrutinized was taken when he did this cycle.

James has overtaken Peters for most of the campaign and has not faced the massive monetary disadvantage that has hampered most Republican incumbents. Both candidates announced they had raised $ 14 million in the third quarter of this year – although Peters had numerous online fundraisers in October, including more than $ 300,000 on Sunday, according to one from Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii ) and Chris Murphy (D- Hawaii) organized the advance. Conn.).

The Republicans will all be in Michigan when the race ends. Two high-level GOP outskirts – the independent spending arm of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Leadership Fund, the Senate Republican’s leading super PAC – are investing a total of $ 5.5 million a day until the election, along with another super PAC in Michigan that supports James. This is on top of the $ 19 million GOP groups have spent so far, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

“The only area of ​​defense where the Democrats are now playing with obvious panic is in Michigan, where I believe the Republicans have set a stone The star candidate with John James and Democrats realizes that people don’t love Gary Peters, ”said Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, in a recent interview.

Despite the GOP offensive, the Democrats outperformed the Republicans and have a slight advantage through election day. Senate Majority PAC, the leading Democratic super PAC, has spent $ 15.5 million as of Monday and booked more than $ 6 million on television advertising in the past three weeks.

Peters’ campaign also surpassed James, booking a little more on TV for the rest of the campaign.

“The card is so bleak for Republicans that they have played up a failed politician who has never voted in the elections,” said Helen Kalla, a spokeswoman for the DSCC, expressing her trust in Peters and accusing James of his positions Hiding from questions about health care.

What the polls show

Two recent public polls showed a close race: A. CBS News / YouGov poll On Sunday, Peters led James with 47 to 44 percent one New York Times / Siena College poll Monday showed him only one point ahead, 43 to 42 percent.

Biden had bigger leads in both polls: 6 points in the CBS News / YouGov poll and 8 points in the New York Times / Siena poll, which Peters particularly showed lagging behind Biden among younger voters and African American voters, Two constituency party officials believe they will break for the Democratic Senator and fill that void. Higher percentages of those voters were undecided in the Senate race, but James’ support reflected Trump’s.

Peters did not conduct a single public survey in the summer or fall and is at the top of the RealClearPolitics average with almost 5 percentage points.

What’s next

While both men have publicly announced how much campaign money they raised in the third quarter of this year, they will have to submit full donation and spending reports to the federal election commission Thursday, which will provide a more complete picture of their resources for the final stretch.

It’s also unclear whether the two will ever meet in person between now and November 3, during a period of debate. After the two campaigns, which led to different debates in the summer, there is currently no debate on the agenda.

Vanessa Valdivia, a Peters spokeswoman, in a statement brushed off the Republicans’ spending flash, saying voters would “reject” [James] and its out-of-touch agenda on health care, protecting the Great Lakes and abortion rights.

Abby Walls, a spokeswoman for James, said his reputation would improve, though he lagged behind in the polls, and that his record “in combat and in business and in the lifelong ethic of service to himself is in stark contrast to Peters’ Record in the elected office stands “.

Democrats say recent polls underscored that they cannot take Peter’s re-election for granted. Brandon Dillon who was the state The Democratic Party leader in 2016 and 2018 said James was a compelling candidate, but Peters was running a good campaign.

“It’s not a slam dunk,” said Dillon. “It’s also not time to press the panic button.”

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