U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and his Republican challenger John James are neck-and-neck in a new poll, three months after the Democratic incumbent had enjoyed a 10-point lead.
The New York Times/Siena College survey shows Peters leading James 43% to 42% among likely voters. A Detroit Free Press poll found Peters leading James 50% to 40% in July.
In 2018, James lost to incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow by 6.5 points.
Tie ball game! Nate Cohn's latest features the recent NY Times/Siena poll which shows Michigan is one of the most competitive races in the nation. Representation matters, experience matters & Michiganders see that. This is huge news, let's keep it going! https://t.co/DJfe12aW2m pic.twitter.com/KNS98d4VvI— John James (@JohnJamesMI) October 12, 2020
It’s unclear why Peters is losing momentum, though some political observers speculate that the low-key incumbent is struggling with name recognition, while his charismatic opponent, a West Point graduate, is getting regular spots on Fox News. Never mind that James rarely takes a stand on important issues and routinely evades questions outside the conservative media.
Whatever the case, Peters is considered essential to the Democrats’ quest to gain control of the Senate.
We can't flip the Senate without winning here in Michigan.— Gary Peters (@GaryPeters) October 12, 2020
The latest poll has us only one point ahead of our far-right opponent. Can I count on you to chip in and help make sure we keep Michigan blue?https://t.co/ROLBm4Ma1g
Both candidates have sunk so much money into the race that it’s projected to be the most expensive in Michigan history, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
Despite that, the New York Times/Siena College survey found that about 20% of likely voters have no opinion on either candidate.
“Part of Mr. Peters’s weakness is that he has thus far failed to match Mr. Biden’s tallies among nonwhite voters, who disproportionately remain undecided,” The New York Times wrote. “It remains to be seen whether Mr. James, who is Black, will ultimately make significant inroads among these voters.”
The same poll found Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 48% to 40%.
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