MI Senate: Democrat shakes up faltering campaign

Gary Peters

It’s no secret that Republicans are capitalizing on President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, but there aren’t many political observers who expected that Michigan, a purple-to-blue leaning state, would truly be in play in the 2014 mid-term election.

Though it’s far too early to say Republicans will pick up this seat, we’re now seeing early signs of panic from national Democrats. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) is hoping that a campaign shake up will breathe some new life into his faltering bid for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat:

With Michigan looming as a now key Senate race, Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, who is locked in a tight battle with Republican Terri Lynn Land, has replaced his campaign manager.

Paul Tencher, who ran now-Sen. Joe Donnelly’s winning campaign for the Democrats in Indiana last cycle, will take over as the head of Peters’s campaign operation. Tencher will replace Julie Petrick, who is stepping aside for personal reasons, Peters said in a statement.
Peters’s shake-up of his team comes in the wake of a fairly lackluster few months for his campaign.

Peters has been dogged by recent issue ads from Americans for Prosperity (AFP) featuring Julie Boonstra, a Michigan resident and cancer patient who lost her health plan because of Obamacare. Peters’ lawyers subsequently threatened television stations running the ad and went after Boonstra’s credibility.

Republicans need a net-six seats to take control of the chamber. They’re poised to pick up three seats — Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. They’re likely to win in Arkansas. Alaska, North Carolina and Louisiana, where incumbent Democrats are running, could be close races. Republicans will have to defend two seats, Georgia and Kentucky.

Land, who served as Michigan’s Secretary of State from 2003 to 2011, leads Peters by an average of 3.7 points, according to Real Clear Politics, in a state President Obama won by 9 points. The race is rated as a “Toss Up” by The Cook Political Report.

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