Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Michigan Senate Seat No Longer Safe for Democrats

Peters is the likely Democratic nominee for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Peters is the likely Democratic nominee for Senate in Michigan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans don’t need to win Michigan to get the majority in the Senate, but the Wolverine State could become a serious takeover target later next year.

After more than three decades, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin announced that he would not seek re-election. Instead of competitive primaries filled with ambitious candidates, it looks like both parties have settled on their nominees for next fall. At this point, the general election looks like it will be between Democratic Rep. Gary Peters and Republican former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

Early public polling shows a competitive race with both candidates lacking statewide name identification. A September EPIC-MRA poll showed Peters ahead, 38 percent to 37 percent. A mid-October automated survey from the Democratic Public Policy Polling firm had the congressman with a larger advantage, 43 percent to 36 percent. And a recent automated survey by the Revsix, a Republican firm, and Michigan Blueprint Strategies, a Democratic firm, for Inside Michigan Politics also had Peters leading a general election ballot test, 43 percent to 38 percent.

Democrats start the general election with the advantage. Republicans have only won one of the past dozen Senate races in Michigan, and that was in 1994. But 1994 was also the last time Michigan saw an open Senate seat.

Land should become a credible candidate who could take advantage of another favorable GOP environment, should one develop. But she is also running from a state office that hasn’t traditionally been a launching pad for the U.S. Senate.

Make no mistake, Peters has shown remarkable political agility and starts this race with the edge, but this open seat should no longer be considered safe. You can read a full analysis of the race in the recent November 7 edition ($) of The Rothenberg Political Report.

The Michigan Senate race is now rated Democrat Favored according to Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • teapartyidiots

    So, the Dem will probably win, but not definitely….headline was misleading.

  • JJ

    Democrats own Obamacare!

    • bishop24230

      Right you are. That is why I oppose any effort to delay the individual mandate. The dems wanted this dog. They shoved down our throat. It needs to be tied around their necks and they should be made to wear every aspect of it into the mid-term elections. How many democratic US Senators that voted for this thing have already just quit and headed for the door before facing re-election? They knew.

  • ggm281

    I read that 1 of every 7 new jobs created in Texas went to someone from MI. I doubt there are too many (R) or even (I) in Michigan.

    • Guest

      Actually the whole state legislature and governor is run by GOP, but I appreciate your stat, it really illustrates well how incompetent that group has been

    • Stephen McDonald

      You must have read that in the Universe where Romney is President…

      • Arkius

        You must have wrote that in a puerile universe where Peter Pan is president.

      • ggm281

        Nope, just a believer in data. And the article didn’t say why. It could be as simple as a company moved and relocated employees. In about 18 months, VA will lose 2100 jobs to Texas. Shortly after that, CA will lose about 3000 jobs as they move to Texas.
        Life isn’t as political as people like to believe. Companies are in the process of consolidating again. It is a constant cycle of centralization/decentralization.

        • Stephen McDonald

          got a link?

          • ggm281

            Check Houston Chronicle archives. The story ran sometime around February.

    • elephant4life

      I think you should take a close look at the county by county map from last year’s election. Most of the counties are red; Spenditnow may have been re-elected, but her ultra-partisanship since then has not done any favors for the people of Michigan, nor endeared those voters to the Dem cause who were wont to vote for a long-time incumbent. Indeed, I suspect the chickens coming home to roost from Obamacare, for which he voted, is one of the reasons for Levin deciding to retire. I’m just surprised the Dem Party hasn’t co-opted Levin’s brother to the candidacy.

  • SupplyGuy

    If McAuliffe’s tanking from Obamacare is any indication, the early advantages of Peters are probably going to evaporate, if they haven’t already.
    And correct me if I’m wrong, but won’t people be starting to receive cancelation notices from their employer insurance companies about a month or so before the election?
    I’m feeling cautiously optomistic about 2014. Its just too bad that a 67 veto proof Senate isn’t possible.

    • Moodster22

      McAuliffe won. If that’s tanking, I do hope it carries over till 2014.

      • libtoaster

        By splitting the ticket and outspending his opponent. Your pal in Michigan won’t have the same advantages, bucko.

        • Moodster22


  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    The notion that equality somehow depends upon the unequal treatment of unique individuals is one of the main intellectual frauds perpetrated by the quacks and charlatans who preach from collectivism’s altar.

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    In this YouTube video we find the Navy-Yard shooter – a liberal and Hussein Obama supporter named Aaron Alexis – arriving at the Navy Yard in his Prius:

  • Gahe

    Democrats and what they can do more than we thought. Let’s wait and see if things can be changed and disturbed?

  • Jerald

    If the blacks come out and vote to continue their record levels of unemployment, the dems win here. If not, they lose.

    • Stephen McDonald

      If the Dem hangs the GOP Party Platform of hate for women, blacks, hispanics and the middle class around the Repub candidates neck.. No contest. Dem Wins.

      • Arkius

        Gullible much?

        • Stephen McDonald

          Ignorant much?

          • Arkius

            You accept Socialist propaganda as fact, with out question. You’re told what to think, and you think it. You are completely gullible.

            You drink the Socialist Kool-Aid and then regurgitate it, because you don’t have the intellectual capacity to create an original thought.

            It’s Bush’s fault, or it’s FOX NEWS lies, or you heard it on MSNBC that Republicans hate women, etc, etc., you fail to reason with information.

            There is nothing you can say that will dispute the fact, that the roll out is a failure; Obama lied about people keeping their current insurance, doctors, etc, and that the majority of the American people neither endorse, nor want the ACA.

          • pbrower2a

            FoX News = GOP Pravda.

          • Stephen McDonald

            The fact you believe EVERYONE that does not agree with your is a “Socialist”.. make your pretty stupid…. And you really need to educate yourself.. here’s a hint.. a Web Site is not a Program…. And the ACA even with all its problems, is more popular today than Medicare Part D was when it had its failed roll out…

            And Now EVERYONE loves Medicare Part D… hmmmmm.

      • Rich-3

        LOL, I guess that is a little harder when the republican is a woman but I guess that really doesn’t matter to the dims or the msm. Just keep saying it and maybe it will work.

        • View From The Left

          yeah, tell that to Senator Angle! ha-ha-ha!!!

          • Rich-3

            Now do you hate yourself? I mean all these wars your have going on with women, blacks, Latinas, Chinese and now your self. I guess you must be real proud of Dingy Reid then. I can at least admit that Angle was a joke but I doubt you would admit the same about Dingy Reid. There in lies the problem with dems they could care less who they support as long as they get what they want in the end. I am sure the war on women was really led by Teddy K and Slick Willie but I bet you love them too. In fact Ole Teddy has the only casualty in the war on women.

      • guvhog

        The fact that the GOP candidate is a Woman makes that far less likely to work.

        • Stephen McDonald

          Shaffly was a woman.. did not stop her from throwing all their other women under the bus.

  • 01_Explorer_01

    No contest with BO care. Hang it around his Dem neck

  • Detroit

    Peters cast a deciding vote for passing the Obamist Cap-and-Trade bill in the House (which later died in the Senate) in the event that anybody forgot…

    • View From The Left

      Terri Land supported Mitt Romney and his call to “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”, in the even anyone forgot that too.

      • Rich-3

        Instead the dems looted the shareholders and gave control to the union bosses. They did go bankrupt and still owe us a lot of money as well but don’t bother with any facts, it might confuse things.

      • Detroit

        First, Romney never said “let Detroit go bankrupt.” The MSM made that up. Check it out. [I doubt that you will because you like to read fairy tales by the MSM…]

        Romney did not support Obama’s bailouts of Chrysler and GM–rightly so. Detroit’s bankruptcy is in no way connected to the auto industry.

        Second, I, as a real conservative, never wanted a Romney, or any other RINO.

        • Jeremy Stephen Wright

          Yep you want a fanatic that would destroy this nation but bring back ‘GOD AND GUNS AND THE HOOOLLLYY BIIBBBLE!!!’ to America.

          • pcq99

            “fanatic that would destroy this nation” – That will be on Barack Obama’s headstone

          • Jeremy Stephen Wright

            Hyperbole. Even if you think his presidency has been a failure what policies could possibly be considered soo disastrous as compared to other presidencies that would make Obama capable of ‘destroying this nation’. He’s a moderate btw.

          • Detroit

            “Moderate” Marxist, perhaps.

          • sgfan

            Nothing about this gay muslim is moderate. He’s as radical as Wm Ayers that mentored him.

          • Detroit

            One silver lining in McCain and Romney’s losing is that the US hasn’t passed amnesty for illegal aliens yet–as they both most surely would have pushed it.

          • sgfan

            You have some serious issues.

      • The Classical Liberal

        Detroit is bankrupt.

      • Godels Proof

        Let me remind you Detroit did go bankrupt

      • sgfan

        And you think we should bail out Detroit? Are you serious? The dems made that mess too. It’s THEIR mess to clean up. Don’t take MY tax dollars to clean up YOUR mess.

  • 10x25mm

    Aside from the auto industry selling a lot of cars on QE based subprime loans, the Michigan economy is really struggling. The auto industry is a relatively smaller factor in today’s Michigan, despite its visibility. Car parts are now mostly imported and more than 50% of domestic assembly occurs in other states. This Senate race will be determined by economic issues and it is anyone’s guess what Michigan’s economic conditions will be a year from now.

    • Detroit

      Not so… Michigan’s economy has rebounded strongly since Granholm departed the state for the People’s Republik of Berkeley.

      Check it out.

      • elephant4life

        No, it’s merely slowed its precipitous slide over the cliff. As long as Michigan continues to be inundated with regulations that strangle every entrepreneurial initiative, the state and its people will will live in economic misery.

      • 10x25mm

        Michigan’s unemployment rate is 2% above the national average, half of grocery store purchases are done with SNAP payments, 11 emergency managers run local government units with more to come, and theft has become the common pastime. Granholm’s damage to Michigan will take more than a decade to repair.

    • pbrower2a

      The cars sold with subprime loans are generally used jalopies sold to people with fecal credit who couldn’t imagine riding the bus for a year and giving up sodas and chips to save for a down payment.

  • phillyfanatic

    Pubs should not try to fix CARE. It is a socialist mess and every Dem , every progressive, and they are all lib-socialists should be tarred with Obamacare and all the other 5 scandals that this un-American Prez has foisted on Americans. Mi. should simply realize that this guy Peters is just another Obama shill.

  • jgalt123

    Terri Lynn Land had better get ready for a vicious campaign. Peters is a gut-punching, slimy politician. It will be fun to see him try to explain away his vote for Obamacare.

    • Jefferson_Was_Right

      The same unholy forces that swept into Virginia to push McAuliffe over the finish line as governor will show up in Michigan, make no mistake.

  • demmi

    Will Barry come in and campaign for Peters ?

    • Wyomingdude

      We can only hope !

  • Doubtfully

    Gary Peters (D) is a fraud, a puppet of Democrat interest groups without an original thought or position. As rep for MI-9, he was an automatic vote for the spendthrift, destructive agenda of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. He claimed to be a small-business champion but voted for Obamacare, which raises costs for small businesses and pushes more employees out of full-time work into part-time status. In 2010, he campaigned — get this — on a platform of “fixing Obamacare,” though it was clear no legislative changes would ever be signed by the self-aggrandizing, self-righteous Pres. Obama. While rep, he took phony positions against Dem-driven bills or with the Republicans when his vote was certain not to matter (this is called being a “pocket vote” for something; if Pelosi doesn’t need you, you can pretend to oppose her and the leadership if it sells better back home).
    Then, when his district was gerrymandered into a near-certain Republican takeover target, he simply moved east, to Sander Levin’s old Democrat stomping grounds in Macomb County.

    But his vote for Obamacare will be inescapable. Let’s record it now and repeat it, along with every part of this non-entity’s disgraceful record as a pull-string toy of big labor, powerful seekers of federal favors, and the trial bar: he didn’t read the bill and didn’t have the brains to see the obvious destruction it would cause. He doesn’t deserve to be elected dog catcher.

    • jgalt123

      Excellent post!

    • S. Tanner

      Well said. Succinct and much better than ” a fanatic that would destroy this nation” as said about Romney & McCain. This is based on facts and less on partisan rhetoric.

  • Don Defoe

    Peters voted for this ObamaCare mess….and now owns it!

  • Mygoodness

    If Detroit can elect a white mayor anything is possible

  • Mojojojo

    False. The last time Michigan saw an open Senate seat was 2001, and Democrat Debbie Stabenow won it. This article is pie-in-the-sky, Republicans haven’t wont a blue-state senate seat outside of Maine or 2010 since Bush’s reelection. They’re not about to win Michigan.

    • nathanlgonzales

      Stabenow defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Spence Abraham in 2000. It was not an open seat. The last time Michigan had an open Senate seat was 1994, when Abraham was initially elected.

      • Mojojojo

        You are actually correct on Stabenow, thanks, I take that back.

        My point about how ridiculous a Republican winning Levin’s seat is, however, does stand.

  • pbrower2a

    Michigan has several one-state pollsters — all of them awful.

  • JavierDCH12

    If the environment evolves in GOP’s favor next year with all the Obamacare disaster, Lynn is a good candidate, and would have a real shot.

  • tdm3624

    I thought she did a good job when she was Secretary of State. She was able to institute some nice reforms, one of which was the ability to renew licenses on-line. I saw better service and shorter turn-around time when she was Secretary of State.

  • Defend Liberty

    If it seems that central governments regard themselves as omnipotent, it is likely because they cite necessity to justify foolish actions.

  • Defend Liberty

    Liberals just want your stuff.

    • pbrower2a

      Right-wingers want your toil — on the cheap. If you have something desirable, the right-wingers want that too, and they will try to get it for as little as they can by making you desperate.

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    In related YouTube video we find liberal democrat Nancy Pelosi praising the anarchists of the “Occupy” domestic insurrection:

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    Since liberty cannot guarantee satisfaction, some people view the challenge of making their own way as more of a strain than an opportunity.

  • Z54

    See, they have already decided that the election will be between Peters and Land, other candidates need not apply! And again the people of Michigan will sell themselves short by re-endorsing the status quo of the two wings of the US Corporate Party!

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