Cheat Sheet to 2014 GOP Senate Races: Michigan

Rep. Gary Peters

Michigan is one of those states with one foot on both sides of the fence. Every polling report out there puts Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land, former secretary of state in Michigan, neck and neck with Democratic candidate Rep. Gary Peters. While this split indicates a diverse votership in Michigan, it does at least simplify the strategy for both candidates. With Democratic Sen. Carl Levin retiring, it opens the door for fresh faces, just as Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is doing in Georgia when he retires this year. The difference is that in states like Georgia, Republicans are more split, leading to more crowded intra-party competition on top of the partisan politics.

Like Georgia, Michigan is a toss-up state at this point, swinging back from its red vote in 2010, at least according to Real Clear Politics, with Peters holding a 40.8 percent average and Land with a 39.2 percent average in the polls. Peter holds a minor advantage over Land in HuffPost Pollster‘s compilation of polls, as well, but in campaign funds he’s the underdog. According to the Detroit Free Press, Land pulled in $3.3 million to Peters’ $2.9 million as of December, a relief for some who were concerned that Land might not attract a competitive backing amount. The concern was somewhat understandable, considering she’d been out of office since 2011.

In the three months leading up to 2014, Land managed to raise $1.7 million, pouring in $1.6 million of her own money over the course of fundraising, as well. Even taking her own contributions out of the picture, she still had Peters beat by $54,000, something Land attributed to the trust that families in Michigan have in her “as a mom, small business owner and public servant. ” It is notable, though, that Peters has not put any personal money into his campaign as of December.