Size matters 

Our friends at the Michigan Campaign Finance Network have been looking at the results of the last election. What the numbers show is that, to paraphrase Mel Brooks, it’s good to be the incumbent.

There was no serious competition in any of Michigan’s 15 congressional races. The closest contest involved Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of the 11th District, who won handily with a 52,000-vote margin.

One of the reasons incumbents do so well is the considerable money-raising advantage they have.

“The fundraising ‘competition’ simply reinforces the advantages inherent in the partisan composition of districts,” the nonprofit group reports. “Incumbents have name recognition and access to interest groups that pay off in fundraising.”

For example, in McCotter’s race, the incumbent amassed a campaign war chest of $858,715 compared to the $19,989 his challenger was able to raise.

The situation is much the same in the Michigan House, where, according to preliminary reports, “only nine candidates out of 110 prevailed over a candidate who was backed by greater financial resources.” As with congressional races, incumbents rule, with only two of the 72 officeholders running for re-election failing to retain their seats.

News Hits, feeling particularly cheery due to the consumption of an abundance of brandy-spiked eggnog, chooses to view this info through a pair of seasonally appropriate red-tinted (though slightly befogged) glasses as we lift our frothy cups in toast to the best damned democracy money can buy.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact this column at 313-202-8004 or

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