Against early expectations, it’s looking like Michigan will be one of the major Senate battlegrounds in 2014.
Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land posted her second consecutive strong fundraising quarter on Tuesday, when her campaign reported raising nearly $1.7 million in the fourth quarter alone. Since June, she has raised more than $3.7 million.
That’s an impressive haul for any challenger, even if about half of it has come from her own finances. But it’s especially noteworthy sum for Land, who many Republicans once regarded as lightweight contender with little chance of winning a blue state race. The party attempted to recruit a slew of other candidates for the race, including Reps. Dave Camp and Mike Rogers, even after Land entered the race. When they passed, many observers concluded Democrats — who have rallied behind Rep. Gary Peters as their presumptive nominee — were a safe bet to retain the seat held by retiring Sen. Carl Levin.
Those predictions have been turned on their head. Land’s fundraising and the deteriorating political environment for Democrats have combined to make the race competitive. Her emergence is also a key development for national Republicans, offering them a pathway to retake the Senate without having to win exclusively in seven red state seats currently represented by Democrats.
Danger still lurks for the GOP: Democrats mock Land for thus far declining to participate in any public events, and she already stumbled once last year when she suggested Obamacare shouldn’t be repealed outright. Her campaign had to hastily issue a correction, emphasizing that she supports repealing the health care law in its entirety. The reason many Republicans doubted her from the beginning could ultimately prove her undoing in a closely scrutinized race.
But for now, Land’s money alone guarantees she’s a serious candidate.
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The Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, became the first major city newspaper to endorse Donald Trump over the weekend.“Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave,” the editorial read, acknowledging concerns about Trump’s temperament. “But neither candidate will ever be called to the dais to accept an award for moral probity and character,” the paper said. “And we are already distressingly familiar with the Clinton way, which involves turning public service into an orgy of influence peddling and entitlement designed to line their own pockets — precisely what a disgruntled electorate now rises up to protest.”
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, 50 to 38 percent, in a new ABC News tracking poll, "her highest support and his lowest to date in ABC News and ABC News/Washington Post polls. Gary Johnson has 5 percent support, Jill Stein 2 percent. Clinton led by only four points in the last ABC/Post poll on Oct. 13.
President Obama "will make a late splash into races for state senate and assembly over the next week, endorsing roughly 150 candidates across 20 states. He’ll also back a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court. The endorsements — which will come along with a variety of robocalls, social media posts, mailers, photos of Obama with the candidates taken as he’s been traveling to campaign in recent weeks, and even a few radio ads — are Obama’s biggest investment in state races ever by far."
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."