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.