Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Ratings Change: Michigan Senate

When it comes to Republican chances of winning the Senate race in Michigan this year, we have been skeptical. While our colleagues at the Cook Political Report have Democratic Sen. Carl Levin’s seat rated as a Toss-Up, the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call has had it rated as Democrat Favored.

As we wrote in the Nov. 8 edition of the Report ($), and continue to believe, the fundamentals in Michigan favor a Democratic candidate in a federal race. But this may not be a typical cycle.

Rep. Gary Peters, the likely Democratic nominee, still has plenty of work to do to improve his standing statewide. After all, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, the likely GOP nominee, has held a narrow advantage in five of the last six public polls, and Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is looking better in his re-election effort, possibly boosting Land’s chances. At a minimum, Democrats will have to spend some money to defend Michigan.

So, while the state’s fundamentals still favor Peters, questions about the president’s impact on the midterm elections and greater uncertainty about the appeal of the two Senate hopefuls cause us to change our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the Michigan Senate race to Lean Democrat from Democrat Favored.

Read more in the February 28 issue of The Rothenberg Political Report ($).

  • RUexperienced

    Go Terri Land!

  • teapartyidiots

    The Dems will hold it – it came out that most of the polling (r polls mainly) were under polling Detroit and it’s environs.

    • mabramso

      Maybe. First, polling this far out in an open race doesn’t mean much anyway. Second, Land has already won statewide, so her winning the Senate race wouldn’t be that big of an upset. Third, the President’s party almost always does terrible in year 6 of his presidency. So I think Cook is correct here — tossup at this point.

      • teapartyidiots

        I would say tilt dem just going by history and the partisan tilt of the state….but your argument is logical.

        • mabramso

          Perhaps so. When I make predictions, all things being equal, I go with the demographics of the state. So in this case, a tie would go to the Democrats. However, it’s still very early, and it may yet be similar to 2010. In order for the Democrats to ensure a status quo election instead of a possible GOP wave election, Obama’s approval rating will have to rise. It’s pretty bad right now, and it is not clear whether or not it will improve. Obama seems to me to be in a very similar situation politically that Bush was in 2006. But we’ll see.

  • JayfromBrooklyn

    Wait- the Republican is ahead in the polls but you are calling this lean Dem?

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