Gary Peters

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.

Cancer patient responds to Democrats’ attacks

Julie Boonstra

A Michigan cancer patient who recently spoke out against Obamacare is fighting back against Democrats’ attacks and attempts to undermine her credibility.

Julie Boonstra was featured last month in Americans for Prosperity issue ad targeting Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) for his support of Obamacare. The lukemia patient explained that she lost a health plan that she liked and was forced to buy one with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Not long after the ad was launched, Peters’ lawyers fired off a letter to Michigan television stations and demanded that they pull the ad, claiming that Boonstra was lying about her circumstances. The cancer patient, however, is fighting back against those claims in another ad produced by Americans for Prosperity.

“Being diagnosed with the cancer, than was the scariest thing I have ever faced. Because of Obamacare, I am now stuck with a plan that doesn’t work for me. My choice was taken away from me,” Boonstra says in the new ad. “All I want is to be listened to. There are thousands of people out there who are hurting because of Obamacare.”

Leukemia patient to Michigan Democrat: “Your decision to vote for Obamacare jeopardized my health”

 Julie's Story

Americans for Prosperity has launched a new issue ad in Michigan targeting Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), a candidate for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat. The ad features the story of Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient who lost her health plan because of Obamacare’s narrowly-written regulations.

“I found out that I only have a 20% chance of surviving. I found this wonderful doctor, and a great healthcare plan,” Boonstra says in the ad, the latest in a series featuring individuals whose lives have been negatively impacted by Obamacare. ”I was doing fairly well fighting the cancer, fighting the leukemia, and then I received a letter. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare.”

“Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable. If I do not receive my medication, I will die,” she continues. “I believed the president. I believed I could keep my health insurance plan. I feel lied to. It’s heartbreaking for me.”

“Congressman Peters, your decision to vote for Obamacare jeopardized my health. It is time to listen to me. It is time to listen to the other Americans citizens out there who are hurting. This is serious. It’s not a game,” Boonstra adds.

MI Senate: Conservative group rollouts $1 million ad buy against Democrat

 Obamacare Isn't Working

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has rolled out a three-week, $1 million multimedia “issue” ad buy in Michigan to hold Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) accountable for his support of Obamacare and perpetuating the lie that Americans could keep their health plans under the law.

“Our activists are committed to a long-term effort to stop Obamacare. We’ve made it clear that we will continue to hold politicians accountable for a law that is hurting millions of Americans,” said AFP-Michigan Director Scott Hagerstrom in a statement.

“This disastrous law has caused hundreds of thousands of Michigan citizens to lose their insurance plans, and in many cases lose affordable access to the doctors they trust,” he said. “Congressman Peters ought to be held accountable for repeating the ‘Lie of the Year.’ He needs to start thinking about the people this is affecting, rather than the politics surrounding this law.”

“It’s time for a full repeal, not just votes to delay the pain this law causes,” Hagerstrom added.

Peters is running for the Michigan’s open Senate seat. The announcement of the ad buy comes on the heels of a new poll showing Terri Lynn Land, the Republican nominee, holding an 8-point lead over Peters. The poll also found that 55% of Michigan voters oppose Obamacare. Just 33% support the law.

Here’s the ad:

MI Senate: New poll gives Republican candidate an edge

It’s time to add Michigan to the list of competitive Senate seats that Democrats will be forced to defend in the 2014 mid-term election, according to a new survey released this morning.

The Conservative Intel/Harper Polling survey found Terri Lynn Land, the likely Republican nominee for the vacant U.S. Senate seat, holding an 8-point lead, 44/36, over Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI). That’s the good news for Republicans, but there is also some bad news.

“On the generic Senate ballot, Democrats actually lead in the same race by just over one point — well within the poll’s 3 point margin of error,” writes David Freddoso at Conservative Intel. “Land’s favorable/unfavorable rating is 32% to 18%, compared to Peters’ 18% to 18%. Only 51 percent of those surveyed said they don’t know enough about Land to form an opinion, compared to 64 percent for Peters.”

“That gives the Democrat more upside potential,” he adds.

Still, Michigan voters aren’t too thrilled with President Obama. The poll found that just 35% approve of his job performance, while 55% disapprove. The sentiment toward Obamacare is also negative, at 33/55, and almost exactly in line with President Obama’s numbers.

Until last month, when a Public Policy Polling survey found Land holding a small lead over Peters, Michigan hadn’t been considered that much of a pickup opportunity for Republicans. But the disastrous rollout over Obamacare and the subsequent political firestorm over millions of canceled health plans have changed the political landscape.

MI Senate: Republican candidate competitive in Democratic-leaning state

Terri Lynn Land

Could a Republican win the open Senate seat in Michigan? Weeks ago, most political observers would have said this is unlikely, and some may still say that Republicans face an unlikely path to winning what is a Democratic-leaning state.

But new survey by Public Policy Polling shows that, at the very least, Republicans will be competitive. The likely Republican nominee, Terri Lynn Land, holds a small, 2-point lead (42/40) over her likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI).

In June, Public Policy Polling found that Peters had a 5-point lead, 41/36, over Land.

The reason for the swing is (surprise!) Obamacare. The poll found that 63% voters in the state don’t believe the implementation of the law has been successful. Just 6% describe implementation as “very successful” and 24% say it has been “somewhat successful.”

Overall, 48% of Michigan voters disapprove of Obamacare, while 34% approve of the controversial law, which has caused an estimated 225,000 policy cancellations in the state, as of the end of November.

Land, who served as Michigan Secretary of State from 2003 to 2011, is viewed favorably by 34% of voters, just 23% view her unfavorably. Just 22% have a favorable view of Peters, 21% have an unfavorable view of the Democratic candidate.

Michigan voters aren’t too thrilled with President Barack Obama, who won the state by 9 points last year. His job approval in among voters is underwater, at 47/51.

Justin Amash passes on Michigan Senate race

Justin Amash

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), an young and outspoken liberty-minded Republican, has decided to pass on the open Senate seat in Michigan, according to a report from the National Journal:

Amash was tempted by the allure of a campaign for higher office, sources say, but the second-term lawmaker ultimately was unwilling to risk surrendering the clout he enjoys among conservatives in the GOP-controlled House. (His advisers also didn’t like the uncertain internal polling against his expected general-election contender, but sources say that didn’t affect Amash’s decision.)
“Justin feels that he’s hitting his stride in the House, and that it’s the best place for him right now,” said one source close to Amash.

The National Journal explained some of the logistical background that ultimately led to the decision, including the fact that Michigan is generally considered to be a blue state. They also note that Amash’s internal polling in the primary “showed him running comfortably ahead of a weak GOP primary field.”

Terri Lynn Land, who served for eight years as Michigan’s Secretary of State, is thought to be the frontrunner for the nomination. Polling shows Land running close to Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), the likely Democratic nominee. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) believes the race is competitive.

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