In 2012, 33 senate races will be contested. Many, perhaps most, will be landslides, but quite a few will probably be close. One that may be close is the senate race in Michigan, where incumbent Debbie Stabenow faces a Republican challenger, almost certainly Pete Hoekstra.
In elections for President, Michigan has been Democratic. Obama beat McCain 57-41, Kerry beat Bush 51-48, and Gore beat Bush, 51-46. All recent polls show Obama winning, but only by about 5-10 points. If the race between Obama and Romney tightens, Michigan will see a lot of attention from the top of the ticket.
Statewide, both of Michigan’s senators are Democrats: Debbie Stabenow (who is running for reelection) and Carl Levin. Six of its 15 representatives in the House of Representatives are Democrats.
The Senate race in Michigan
Debbie Stabenow is running for reelection. She has been Senator since 2000, when she ousted the Republican incumbent, Spencer Abraham. In 2006, she won fairly easily against Michael Bouchard. Pete Hoekstra is a former representative in the House of Representatives. Although there is a Republican primary, Hoekstra has huge leads in the polls.
- Update Aug 8 – As expected, Pete Hoekstra won the Republican primary quite easily.
The Democratic candidate: Debbie Stabenow supports a woman’s right to choose. She is a supporter of the rights of women and gays. She is a strong supporter of public education and got a 100 rating from the National Educational Alliance. Stabenow supported Obama’s stimulus package. Stabenow is a supporter of protecting the environment, and was rated 84 of 100 by the League of Conservation Voters. She opposes most free trade agreements, arguing for fair trade instead. Debbie Stabenow supports Obama’s health care plan and got a 100 rating from the American Public Health Association On the Issues rates her a liberal on both social and economic issues.
The Republican candidate: Pete Hoekstra
Pete Hoekstra opposes a woman’s right to choose. He supported the economic stimulus. Hoekstra supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. He opposes letting shareholders vote on executive compensation. He opposes listing crimes against gays as hate crimes. Hoekstra has not been a supporter of public education and got a 9 of 100 rating from the National Educational Alliance. He has been a supporter of the oil and gas industry and an opponent of protecting the environment; he got a 10 of 100 rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Pete Hoekstra has been for some free trade agreements and against others. He wants to build a fence along the Mexican border. He has opposed progressive taxes. On the Issues rates him a conservative on both social and economic issues.
The polls in Michigan’s senate race:
All polls show Stabenow winning reelection, by between 10 and 15 points.
- Aug 23 Glengariff has Stabenow up by 8
- Aug 27 Mitchell Research has Hoekstra up by 1
- Sep 1 EPIC-MRA has Stabenow up by 7
- Sep 4 A PPP poll using likely voters (all earlier polls were registered voters) has Stabenow up by 9
- Sep 13 EPIC-MRA has Stabenow up by 11
- Sep 14 Foster McCollum has Stabenow up by 5
- Sep 25 Rasmussen has Stabenow up by 16
- Sep 29 Gravis has Stabenow by 14 among likely voters and 17 among registered voters
- Oct 11 Glengariff has Stabenow up by 12
- Oct 16 Rasmussen has Stabenow by 12
- Oct 17: YouGov has Stabenow by 10
- Oct 23: Angus Reid has Stabenow by 20
- Nov 1: EPIC-MRA has Stabenow by 21; Glengariff has her up by 14
- Nov 3: PPP has Stabenow by 13
- Nov 5: Foster McCollum has Stabenow up by 7; YouGov by 12
- Nov 6: Angus Reid has Stabenow by 13
Stabenow has raised a little over $10 million and Hoekstra about $3 million.
Election results: http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/
Fundraising and other stuff http://www.opencongress.org/wiki/PA-Senate_Class_I_Seat
Michigan congreesmembers: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
On the issues: Hoekstra: http://www.issues2000.org/Senate/Peter_Hoekstra.htm