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December 20, 2014

Posts in "Michigan"

October 22, 2014

Senate Races 2014: Why Michigan Never Became Iowa

Senate Races 2014: Why Michigan Never Became Iowa

Peters is the Democratic nominee in Michigan. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Earlier this cycle, Republicans viewed the Michigan Senate race as a potential pick-up opportunity, much like the seat in Iowa.

But it didn’t turn out that way — not even close.

Both Iowa and Michigan featured open-seat races. In these states, Democrats had cleared the field to nominate a House member with partisan voting records. Meanwhile, the GOP’s top candidate picks took a pass on these Senate races, forcing the party to settle for second-tier recruits. To be sure, Michigan was a slightly more favorable battleground for Democrats — but Republicans were bullish about it.

Now, with two weeks until Election Day, the Iowa race is a dead heat with both parties spending massively to win the seat. Nearly 500 miles away, Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., solidly leads former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in every public poll. Earlier this month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled more than $850,000 out of the state, canceling its final two weeks of television for Land and indicating the race was over.

“I’d rather be on Gary Peters’ campaign than on Terri Lynn Land’s,” said Michigan Republican consultant Dennis Darnoi.

So what happened? Full story

October 16, 2014

How ‘Dr. Dan’ Cured His Campaign Woes

How Dr. Dan Cured His Campaign Woes

Republicans say Benishek is one of the "most improved" candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Once a top target for Democrats, Rep. Dan Benishek, a former surgeon turned tea party candidate, has turned a corner in his campaign for a second term, and national Republicans have labeled him one of their “most improved” members of the cycle.

What happened? A combination of staff changes, leveraging his slot on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and a favorable cycle for Republicans gave Benishek a clear advantage in the 1st District.

“It looked as if Michigan’s 1st District was going to be one of maybe the top two or three House races here in Michigan,” said Dennis Darnoi, a Michigan Republican consultant. “It hasn’t really reached the competitive level that, I think, was expected.” Full story

October 8, 2014

House Democrats Cut Ad Buy in Michigan

House Democrats Cut Ad Buy in Michigan

Cannon is challenging Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats have canceled $425,000 in television ad reservations for a House race the party hoped to put in play in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, according to multiple sources monitoring the media market.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had been targeting Republican Rep. Dan Benishek, who is being challenged by Democrat Jerry Cannon. But the DCCC cut airtime in the 1st District from Oct. 21 through Election Day, following a similar cut made by House Majority PAC in September. Full story

October 2, 2014

Kerry Bentivolio to Wage Write-In Campaign

Kerry Bentivolio to Wage Write In Campaign

Bentivolio is a Michigan Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, who lost his Republican primary in his re-election bid, said Thursday he will stage a write-in campaign in November.

In an afternoon phone interview with CQ Roll Call, Bentivolio said he wanted to send a message to his former GOP opponent, businessman and Republican nominee David Trott, who he alleged has continued attacking him, his family and his staff after their Aug. 5 primary.

“After they won the race, they kept up the attacks, but they expanded it beyond me,” Bentivolio said. ”After they won the race, they continued to beat up me, my family members, as well as my staff.”

Trott trounced Bentivolio by more than 30 points, and now he’s on track to win Michigan’s 11th District, which located in the towns and exurbs northwest of Detroit. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Republican Favored.

Full story

September 29, 2014

Democrats Dominate Michigan Senate Race Spending (Charts)

Democrats Dominate Michigan Senate Race Spending (Charts)

(Courtesy Echelon Insights)

Outside groups are driving the spending on broadcast television ads in the final months of the Michigan Senate race and Democrats are dominating the spending battle, according to a breakdown compiled by Republican firm Echelon Insights for Terri Lynn Land’s campaign.

Land is running against Democratic Rep. Gary Peters in the open seat contest.

In the past month, 54.89 percent of ad spending in the race has come from outside groups, a higher percentage than any other Senate race in the country, according to the data, provided to CQ Roll Call.

Full story

September 25, 2014

Democrats Cut Ad Time in Michigan House Race (Updated)

Democrats Cut Ad Time in Michigan House Race  (Updated)

Benishek is a Republican from Michigan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:49 p.m. | A Democratic super PAC has cut a television ad reservation for the party’s best offensive opportunity in Michigan, according to two sources who monitor media buys.

House Majority PAC’s cancellation could be a sign Democrats are no longer optimistic their nominee, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, can defeat Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich.

In June, HMP — a super PAC that boosts House Democrats — reserved $375,000 for the district, according to The Washington Post. A Republican source said the reservation was for Sept. 23 through Oct. 13 in the Marquette and Traverse City media markets.

But this week, HMP went dark in Michigan’s 1st District.

Full story

September 19, 2014

New Terri Lynn Land Ad Knocks Washington

Republican Senate hopeful Terri Lynn Land is going up with a new positive television spot touting her plans to help Michigan.

The former secretary of state will run the ad statewide starting Friday, the campaign said. The campaign declined to provide the total amount of money behind the buy, but described it as “significant.”

Land faces Democratic Rep. Gary Peters in the race for the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Carl Levin. Republicans need to win six seats to take control of the Senate in November.

The ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call by Land’s campaign, touts her Michigan First plan.

Full story

August 14, 2014

Harry Reid to Fundraise for Two Democrats in Lake Tahoe

Harry Reid to Fundraise for Two Democrats in Lake Tahoe

Harry Reid of Nevada is the Senate Majority Leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a retreat in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, this weekend with donors to boost two Democratic Senate campaigns: Rep. Gary Peters’ bid in Michigan and Sen. Al Franken’s re-election in Minnesota.

According to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call, the Lake Tahoe Retreat runs from Aug. 15 through 17 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village. The required contribution to attend is $10,000 with checks made payable to Searchlight Lake Tahoe Victory Fund, Reid’s joint fundraising committee. Full story

August 6, 2014

Senate Candidate Targets Democrat on Immigration

Michigan Republican Terri Lynn Land is launching a TV ad Wednesday accusing her Democratic opponent in the state’s open Senate race of trying to have it both ways on immigration.

The spot, provided first to CQ Roll Call, shows back-to-back clips of Rep. Gary Peters talking about immigration. In the first, he says, “Certainly enforcement is very important.” In the second, he says, “Immigration reform is not about more enforcement.”

It comes one day after the Michigan primaries, marking the formal kickoff to a potentially competitive race in this Democratic-leaning state. Land and Peters ran uncontested for their respective nominations. Full story

August 4, 2014

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

Roberts faces a primary on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tuesday night features some of the most intense — and final — tea party-vs.-business contests of the GOP primary season.

Polls close in Michigan and Kansas at 9 p.m. EST. Washington State has a mail-in ballot system, with the first set of results expected to be released by 11:30 p.m. EST.

Here are the six things to watch in those states:

Full story

An Ex-Congressman’s Shaky Comeback Bid in Michigan

An Ex Congressmans Shaky Comeback Bid in Michigan

In the Michigan primary, Hansen Clarke will attempt to win his former Detroit-based district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Hansen Clarke’s hopes of returning to Congress in a definitive Tuesday primary might be just that for the Michigan Democrat — hopes.

He’s attempting to leverage his name recognition as a former one-term member, but Clarke’s top two Democratic rivals, state Rep. Rudy Hobbs and Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, have major political heft behind their campaigns. Several of Clarke’s former colleagues have lined up behind his opponents, and others expressed doubt about his prospects of coming back to Congress.

“I wanted Hansen to come back, but Hansen didn’t get any labor endorsements,” said Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., who is neutral in the race, in between votes last week. “I think that that’s almost fatal.” Full story

July 25, 2014

Tea Party Circles the Wagons Around Justin Amash

Tea Party Circles the Wagons Around Justin Amash

Amash is a Michigan Republican. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

No House Republican enrages the business-friendly wing of the GOP more than Justin Amash. But members and operatives who hoped to end his political career are running out of time and moxie before Michigan’s Aug. 5 primary.

So far, many of Amash’s cash-flush critics have passed on investing substantial resources in his GOP rival, former East Grand Rapids School Trustee Brian Ellis. At the same time, Amash allies such as the Club for Growth and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have tangibly backed the libertarian sophomore’s re-election in the 3rd District.

Full story

July 17, 2014

U.S. Chamber Backs Justin Amash Primary Opponent

U.S. Chamber Backs Justin Amash Primary Opponent

Amash faces a primary opponent in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed GOP Rep. Justin Amash’s primary challenger in Michigan’s 3rd District.

The group’s support could translate into television airtime for Brian Ellis, a former East Grand Rapids School Trustee, before the Aug. 5 primary. The primary has become one of this cycle’s top battles inside the GOP, with the party’s libertarian wing backing Amash and national business interests boosting Ellis.

“The U.S. Chamber is proud to endorse Brian Ellis’ congressional campaign to represent Michigan’s 3rd congressional district. Both candidates in the primary sought our endorsement, and the choice in support of Ellis on pro-growth issues was clear,” U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President and National Political Director Rob Engstrom said in a Thursday statement.

Full story

May 30, 2014

Michigan Officials Won’t Appeal John Conyers Ballot Slot

Michigan Officials Wont Appeal John Conyers Ballot Slot

Conyers will seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The state of Michigan will not challenge a federal judge’s order to put Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. on the primary ballot.

“Based on the facts of the judge’s order, the state has decided not to appeal in the Conyers case,” Michigan Department of State spokesman Fred Woodhams said in a written statement.

Last Friday, Conyers’ hopes for appearing on the Aug. 5 primary ballot were all but lost. But then a federal judge ordered the state to put him on the ballot. Earlier this month, a county clerk ruled the 25-term ineligible to appear on Michigan’s 13th District ballot due to problems with his petition signatures. Full story

May 22, 2014

Tom Steyer’s 2014 Targets Start With Four Senate Races

Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ financial answer to the Koch brothers, has set his sights on specific Senate and gubernatorial races to spend the $100 million he’s earmarked for the midterm elections.

His super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, aims to promote candidates who support action to mitigate the effects of climate change. It was active in last year’s elections for Virginia governor and a vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts.

The group has now targeted the competitive Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire, and the Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine gubernatorial contests. It will back the Democratic candidate in each case. Full story

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