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Michigan Senate Race Tightening

John James, the 2018 Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Michigan, is running again this cycle. This time, he is up against little-known incumbent Democratic Senator Gary Peters.

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John James

James' entry into the race has caused the Cook Political Report to shift their rating of the Michigan Senate race from "Likely Democratic" to "Lean Democratic." They observe,

James was the GOP’s U.S. Senate nominee in 2018. He got very little attention last cycle, and yet managed to raise $12.7 million, and take 46 percent to 52 percent for Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. According to GOP strategists, Peters begins the cycle in a considerably weaker position than Stabenow was last cycle.

From a numbers standpoint, James is crushing it. Cook notes, "If fundraising is any indication of how competitive a race will become, Democrats have to be a bit disheartened by the 3Q FEC reports. James outraised Peters, taking in nearly $3.1 million to $2.5 million."

Regarding the polls, Cook observes, "In the Marketing Resources Group’s survey, Peters had a three-point edge over James, 43 percent to 40 percent. In the Target Insyght poll, Peters was ahead of James by 16 points, 53 percent to 37 percent."

The surveys played into the prognosticator's race rating: "The first poll will have James supporters arguing for a Toss Up rating, while the latter survey would suggest leaving it in the Likely Democrat column for now."