Top Senate GOP super PAC makes final $4.6M investment in Michigan Senate race
A top super PAC supporting Senate Republicans is making a seven-figure investment in the Michigan Senate race in the final weekend before Election Day, an indication the GOP feels confident in its chances to unseat Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), which is aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is dropping $4.6 million in the race, SLF President Steven Law told reporters Friday.
Republicans are high on their chances in the Great Lake State’s Senate race, throwing their support behind Army veteran and businessman John James. James lost his 2018 bid to unseat Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) by a narrower than expected margin and has proven his fundraising strength by outraising Peters in several quarters this cycle.
The investment in the Michigan race also comes as Republicans fight tooth and nail to protect their Senate majority. Democrats are challenging vulnerable GOP incumbents in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, Montana, South Carolina and elsewhere. Republicans, meanwhile, are confident in knocking off Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) but find scant few offensive opportunities beyond the Yellowhammer State besides Michigan.
Unseating both Jones and Peters would drastically improve GOP chances of maintaining control of the Senate, though both victories would still not guarantee a majority. Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority.
“From a senatorial standpoint, if you’re trying to expand the field, that’s where you play,” said Saul Anuzis, a Michigan-based Republican strategist and former chair of the state GOP. “John James is the one other realistic shot at netting out an additional seat somewhere in the country, so it’s a very good, smart expenditure of resources if you want to hold the Senate majority.”
Republicans are insistent that James is making the race competitive, noting that while GOP incumbents across the country face yawning fundraising gaps with their challengers, James is in good financial shape. But polls show Peters in a stronger position heading into Nov. 3, with virtually every public poll showing him ahead. The first-term senator also won his seat by a comfortable margin in 2014, which was otherwise a horrible year for Democratic candidates.
“As John James keeps falling behind in the polls with a lackluster campaign and out-of-touch agenda, Gary Peters continues to build momentum in the race, expanding his lead and broadening his grassroots fundraising support," Vanessa Valdivia, a Peters spokesperson, told The Hill.
The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Michigan Senate race as “lean Democrat."