Senate races to watch – Michigan edition

posted at 8:31 am on January 18, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Back in 2013, Carl Levin announced that he wouldn’t be seeking another term in the Senate. At the time, Allahpundit posited that this wasn’t a terribly likely pickup for the GOP, but with conditions on the ground changing it could be one to watch. It wasn’t unreasonable to be cautious, given that Michigan hadn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1994, but things were looking more hopeful. At the time there was some speculation that Justin Amash might be interested, but that didn’t seem to develop. After a series of disastrous developments for Barack Obama and the Democrats, though, the situation appears to be ripening.

Republican Terri Lynn Land and Democrat Gary Peters are running neck-and-neck in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the prospective 2014 U.S. Senate race in Michigan.

A new telephone survey of Likely Michigan Voters finds Land, a former Michigan secretary of state, leading Peters, a U.S. congressman, by just two points – 37% to 35%. But eight percent (8%) prefer some other candidate, and 20% are undecided this early in the year. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

At one time, this race should have been a no brainer for the Democrats, but clearly Land is focused on putting a fly in their ointment. One of the other early signals of viability for a campaign is their ability to attract the advance support of donors. Land is fortunate enough to be able to self-fund to a fair degree, but others are already jumping on the bandwagon.

Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said today that in the last three months of 2013, she raised $1.7 million toward her U.S. Senate campaign.

Her campaign did not immediately release how much cash on hand she has in her run for the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who is retiring.

The quarterly figures bring Land’s fund-raising total to $3.7 million. She has contributed about $1.6 million of her own money to that total, including $600,000 in the last three months of the year.

Polling has shown Land slightly ahead of or in a virtual tie with U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township, who is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Michigan hasn’t elected a Republican U.S. Senate candidate since 1994.

Breaking the Democrats’ hold on this seat is far from a given, but in a season looking increasingly uncertain for liberals, Michigan is shaping up to be yet another place where they will need to expend resources on a race which previously seemed safe. We’re keeping Michigan on the big board and will be watching to see how things unfold once the primary is over.


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If R’s are competitive in Michigan, then I think 8 senate pick ups is realistic. I don’t think the so-called pundits are giving enough weight to the hatred of obamacare.

Ta111 on January 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Something is screwy with Rasmussen’s polls. I don’t know who Scott sold the firm to but just checkout Obama’s JA #. It’s not that Rasmussens number is off the graph line, it’s not even on the same page as the other JA numbers. Somebody told me they only poll in CA

rik on January 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

governor snyder (R) is up for reelection too. he has a big lead in the polls right now so that should help the rest of the ticket.

dbilly76 on January 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Oh good… more republicans. /

MT on January 18, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Something is screwy with Rasmussen’s polls. I don’t know who Scott sold the firm to but just checkout Obama’s JA #. It’s not that Rasmussens number is off the graph line, it’s not even on the same page as the other JA numbers. Somebody told me they only poll in CA

rik on January 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I don’t know what your post means. I assume that JA stands for job approval and not jock apparatus but where are you looking for numbers? They aren’t at the links provided in this story.

Vince on January 18, 2014 at 9:21 AM

I live in Michigan, I’m surrounded by liberals. I’ll believe it when I see it.

phatfawzi on January 18, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Something is screwy with Rasmussen’s polls. I don’t know who Scott sold the firm to but just checkout Obama’s JA #. It’s not that Rasmussens number is off the graph line, it’s not even on the same page as the other JA numbers. Somebody told me they only poll in CA

rik on January 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I don’t know what your post means. I assume that JA stands for job approval and not jock apparatus but where are you looking for numbers? They aren’t at the links provided in this story.

Vince on January 18, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Rik is right. Maybe check the RCP average for the exact numbers, but NumbersMuncher has been all over this on Twitter. Ras has him about even in Job Approval, while every other polling site puts him like 12-15 points underwater.

This MI poll does admittedly place it about what I think is right. I’m not cheery enough to believe Harper’s #s, but I can believe she has a slight lead.

Gingotts on January 18, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Republican Terri Lynn Land and Democrat Gary Peters are running neck-and-neck in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the prospective 2014 U.S. Senate race in Michigan.

Better be better than neck-and-neck. After the Dems call “The Dead Men of Dunharrow” to fill their army of voters, the results will be a Dem victory.

iamsaved on January 18, 2014 at 9:51 AM

governor snyder (R) is up for reelection too. he has a big lead in the polls right now so that should help the rest of the ticket.

dbilly76 on January 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Indeed. Land is exactly the type of Republican that can win statewide in Michigan. Things look good there. The GOP has done a great job of recruiting candidates as of late (for the most part) with Capito in WV, Cotton in AR, Land in MI, Ernst in IA, Treadwell in AK (although I hope Sullivan gets the nomination), Cassidy in LA, and Rounds in SD.

GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM

40 comments or bust…

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Something is screwy with Rasmussen’s polls. I don’t know who Scott sold the firm to but just checkout Obama’s JA #. It’s not that Rasmussens number is off the graph line, it’s not even on the same page as the other JA numbers. Somebody told me they only poll in CA

rik on January 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

My data unsupported theory on this is that since Rassmussen uses likely voters and so many conservatives are casting doubt on whether they would vote for a Republican or stay home, many potential Obama disapprovers are not passing the likely voter screen. That is especially so if they stayed home rather than vote for Romney. Gallup and others use either all adults or registered voters so the disaffected conservatives do show up in these polls.

For this reason, and since a different poll put Land up by 8 points, I think her lead is more substantial than Ras is showing. Of course, as the Dem ups his name recognition, that could change as Lynn is already well known as she has run statewide before.

KW64 on January 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Nothing to worry about. Never will be. There will always be a few select precincts in Detroit that are still “counting” votes many hours after all others have reported to carry the day for democrats.

Browndog on January 18, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Get him on camera answering just two questions:

1. Will you vote to repeal Obamacare?
2. If he said yes to 1, will you resign if you go back on your answer?

Charlemagne on January 18, 2014 at 10:37 AM

A Republican just won a special state senate election in Arkansas in a district that was heavily Democrat. He won by a huge margin. You cannot force communism on a capitalist, freedom loving people.

devan95 on January 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Terri Lynn Land is Secretary of State which to Michigan means she does the drivers licenses. That service is improved under her watch

There is a weird purely political tradition in Michigan. The Sec State plasters his name all over the offices for titles and licenses, as a perk of the job, so the name becomes well known as you sit for hours waiting for your number

Sec State tends to be a reward for years of service job. Land has a good reputation for her work. I have heard her on talk radio a bit, and she is pleasant, and intelligent sounding.

I dare anyone to find a link on the web that states her positions. For someone who has worked their way up the political ladder, since campaigning for Ford, she has virtually no search trail

Buzzfeed reports she now wants to end obamacare She is an RNC chairwoman

She was headliner at an RNSC event, so the Club is backing her

Anyone find out anything else please post it

Right now, she has no political positions, even at websites in her name

entagor on January 18, 2014 at 10:43 AM

A Republican just won a special state senate election in Arkansas in a district that was heavily Democrat. He won by a huge margin. You cannot force communism on a capitalist, freedom loving people.

devan95 on January 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Shhhh!! You’re not suppose to talk about such things

rik on January 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

You cannot force communism on a capitalist, freedom loving people.

devan95 on January 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

I hope you’re right, and not just for the USA. They’re sure trying all over the place.

Gingotts on January 18, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I think she has a good to win considering it’ll be a mid-term election. Obama easily won MI both times with some democrats riding his coattails, but in 2010 MI fully participated in the huge red wave that swept the country. I don’t see why that can’t happen again.

supernova on January 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Indeed. Land is exactly the type of Republican that can win statewide in Michigan. Things look good there. The GOP has done a great job of recruiting candidates as of late (for the most part) with Capito in WV, Cotton in AR, Land in MI, Ernst in IA, Treadwell in AK (although I hope Sullivan gets the nomination), Cassidy in LA, and Rounds in SD.

GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Also Daines in MT and yes, Gillespie in VA. I know HotGas has a mixed opinion of the latter. As Senator, Gillespie will be with the “mainstream leadership” crowd. So, most likely, will Land. As recruits though both are great for us. Gillespie undoes the biggest frustration of the cycle and puts Virginia on the map – turns a safe D race to Lean D, where they’ll have to pay attention. TLL is in a pure tossup. If only we can get Brown in MA and McFadden through the MN primary, we have a well expanded map.

BTW, from what I keep hearing in AK, it’s actually Sullivan who is the good recruit there, so we should root for him. Pulling in good money too.

Gingotts on January 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Shhh. I think we should keep GOP leads a secret so we catch the Dems off guard. Then we can’t get our own dead people motivated to vote before they get theirs.

COgirl on January 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Also Daines in MT and yes, Gillespie in VA. I know HotGas has a mixed opinion of the latter. As Senator, Gillespie will be with the “mainstream leadership” crowd. So, most likely, will Land. As recruits though both are great for us. Gillespie undoes the biggest frustration of the cycle and puts Virginia on the map – turns a safe D race to Lean D, where they’ll have to pay attention. TLL is in a pure tossup. If only we can get Brown in MA and McFadden through the MN primary, we have a well expanded map.

BTW, from what I keep hearing in AK, it’s actually Sullivan who is the good recruit there, so we should root for him. Pulling in good money too.

Gingotts on January 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Yeah, I forgot about Daines. And I agree with you about Gillespie. Getting Brown to run in NH would be huge, as he seems to be the only potential candidate that’s competitive there right now. He’s within 3 while the others are behind by double digits. McFadden would be an ideal candidate in MN, no doubt. I hope you’re right about Sullivan. This could be huge year for Republicans.

GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Yeah, I forgot about Daines. And I agree with you about Gillespie. Getting Brown to run in NH would be huge, as he seems to be the only potential candidate that’s competitive there right now. He’s within 3 while the others are behind by double digits. McFadden would be an ideal candidate in MN, no doubt. I hope you’re right about Sullivan. This could be huge year for Republicans.

GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I hope we can get a competitive candidate in Colorado.

KW64 on January 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

This could be huge year for Republicans.
GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Quite possible… unless the R’s muck it up with amnesty.

SheVee on January 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

I hope we can get a competitive candidate in Colorado.

KW64 on January 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Amy Stephens is probably the best candidate. She’s great on taxes, gun rights, and Obamacare. She’s very likable and politically talented to boot. Udall will be hard to knock off, but she probably gives us the best chance to do it.

GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Quite possible… unless the R’s muck it up with amnesty.

SheVee on January 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

True story.

GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

entagor on January 18, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Just about anyone would be better than Carl Levin.

celtic warrior on January 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

lso Daines in MT and yes, Gillespie in VA. I know HotGas has a mixed opinion of the latter. As Senator, Gillespie will be with the “mainstream leadership” crowd. So, most likely, will Land. As recruits though both are great for us. Gillespie undoes the biggest frustration of the cycle and puts Virginia on the map – turns a safe D race to Lean D, where they’ll have to pay attention. TLL is in a pure tossup. If only we can get Brown in MA and McFadden through the MN primary, we have a well expanded map.

BTW, from what I keep hearing in AK, it’s actually Sullivan who is the good recruit there, so we should root for him. Pulling in good money too.

Gingotts on January 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Gillespie is more conservative then people on this site realize. He talked Bush out of ‘cap and trade’, fought against Tarp and the auto bail-outs, he lost those two battles but his positions were clear.

celtic warrior on January 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

It w/b the ultimate irony to replace Carl Levin with a R.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Land will vote exactly as the Republican leadership wants her to vote. This is not what we need to gain control of the Senate. The only reason Land has a chance in Michigan is because Peters makes liberals look conservative. He is a weasel. As for going to get my drivers license in MI, I only wait 1 hour now instead of the 2 hours it used to be. Land is a goddess! /s

Conservative4Ever on January 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Any Republican who can’t defeat a Democrat this year, should get another job and forego any political ambitions. As much as the Democrats are starving for a way to make Republicans responsible for the ACA, it’s just not going to happen. The Republicans could pass 2 laws that are necessary and would have the Democrats jumping through hoops to make sure they DON’T pass, one is to say no bail-outs for insurers, because that will have the insurers thinking twice about how deep they will allow themselves to get into this before saying they just can’t do it. The next would be a law that says all people with insurance should have 6 months notice before major changes will take place in their insurance or their insurance will be cancelled, that will stop the Democrats and Obama from moving the date for cancellations beyond the election. If the public knows the truth about this law, before the election, the Democrats can lie all they want, they will not win.

bflat879 on January 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Amy Stephens is probably the best candidate. She’s great on taxes, gun rights, and Obamacare. She’s very likable and politically talented to boot. Udall will be hard to knock off, but she probably gives us the best chance to do it.

GOPRanknFile on January 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Looked up on her and yes she does seem like she would be a good candidate. It would certainly be tough to brand her for making a war on women as the Dems usually do with GOP candidates.

KW64 on January 18, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Detroit is losing population, but I bet its vote totals will remain unchanged. If you know what I mean.

SouthernGent on January 18, 2014 at 3:34 PM

let’s get big fat michael moore to run for senate on the green party… a good ultra-lib 3rd party effort should work in Ann Arbor to siphon votes away from the dem’s

wholefoodsrepublican on January 18, 2014 at 4:35 PM

I live in Michigan, I’m surrounded by liberals. I’ll believe it when I see it.

phatfawzi on January 18, 2014 at 9:23 AM

…probably live near Detroit…like me…and if they are not Dems…they are the Fat Doughnut type of Pubes…the western part of the state is way different…we need a population explosion there!
…the UP is not much better than Detroit…same ‘government assistance’ is generally needed up there!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Detroit is losing population, but I bet its vote totals will remain unchanged. If you know what I mean.

500,000 citizens. A million votes.
Yeah; we know what you mean.

Anyone who can send me a picture of the movers taking Harry Reid’s furniture out of the Majority Leader’s Office after November 2014: $20 in it for you.
If only it can happen. A photo worth framing.

orangemtl on January 18, 2014 at 5:26 PM

One time Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land did a good job in the position for us here in Michigan and today she is working for the TEA Party vote. I think she will get it.

What do the Democrats have to run on? Supporting Obamacare? Getting further bail-outs of Detroit which Democrat Politicians bankrupted?

The GOP is focused on replacing our TEA Party candidates here. If they fight for seats the way they did in 2012 I’m certain we will again see the TEA Party winning the races the GOP historically loses.

With so many seeing the 2 party system is corrupt through and through voters are looking for a third party and many are discovering that the TEA Party IS the third party, so the liberals running both the DNC and the GOP will be scared enough to prove they really do hate Conservatives and that is a good way to lose in 2014. Scared people are good at making mistakes.

TEAnami2014 here we come!

DannoJyd on January 18, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Land is already pounding Peters with plenty of TV and radio ads on his support of Obamacare. She’s not known as a great campaigner but hopefully the money will pull her across. She’s come out in support of extending unemployent benefits but it’s the smart poliical position to take in Michigan at this time.

Goodale on January 19, 2014 at 3:01 AM

Being from MI I know Terri would make a great Senator… Gary Peters is your typical Democrat… We Republicans will work hard for her I know.. Amash-no thanks with his libertarian views-I am a Republican , not a libertarian.

Bullhead on January 19, 2014 at 7:42 PM

I forgot to add she has a good chance to win If the Dems are kept for all their voting fraud that goes on here in MI…

Bullhead on January 19, 2014 at 7:45 PM