Gary Peters, GOPocrisy, Terri Lynn Land — May 28, 2014 at 11:08 am

The Kochs can’t seem to buy a Senate seat in Michigan


Koch tested. Right to Life approved.

DTerriLynnLand2emocrat Gary Peters continues to lead his likely Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate Terri Lynn Land.

Meanwhile, Republican hopes of a wave that could help them take over the Senate should be waning, if Republicans actually paid attention to polls they don’t like.

The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent notes:

A pair of new polls shows Dem Gary Peters leading Republican Terri Lynn Land for Senate in Michigan. The Free Press poll finds Peters up six, 44-38, and the Detroit News poll finds him up four, 39-35.

Both polls show Peters ahead among women, by eight and 14 points respectively. This, despite the fact that some folks praised Land’s recent ad rebuffing Dem suggestions of a GOP “war on women” (which didn’t actually address any issues of importance to women). Look for Personhood and other women’s health issues to be key in this race.

Land maintained a brief lead over Peters before began to work reliably.

When Obamacare’s prospects improved and the ads from the Koch brothers’ political arm Americans for Prosperity proved misleading and hollow, Land kinda supported Medicaid expansion while still promising to repeal it — a stand that’s even more untenable now as 269,400 Michiganders have signed up for coverage in less than two months.

But Peters’ lead didn’t become solid until the Senate Majority PAC began running ads connecting Land to the Kochs and Paul Ryan’s budgets that would drastically reduce the support the government provides to seniors and the poor. Those ads have been followed by the expected attacks on Land’s anti-choice beliefs.

Land’s fall in the polls “solves the mystery of why Land’s campaign has refocused on attacking Peters for supporting cap and trade five years ago,” according to Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

Peters has confidently taken up global warming as an issue, challenging Land’s mushy denialism, making this race crucial to the future of how climate change is contested in swing states.

This election will be close, given the demographics of off-year voters. But Michigan seems to be wary, as it has been for decades, of sending a Republican to the U.S. Senate.

Democrats’ improving prospects in Michigan’s Senate race mirror what’s going on nationally. New York Times’ Upshot model currently gives Democrats a 59 percent shot of keeping the Senate. Professor Sam Wang’s model of models says the GOP only has a 33 percent chance of taking the upper house of Congress.

The dynamic seems pretty simple.

When Democrats expose their opponents’ extreme backers and policies, Republicans fall in the polls. When Democrats get out and remind their neighbors to vote, Republicans lose.