Thu. Feb 25th, 2021

By David EGGERT, The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Democratic Sen. Gary Peters and Republican challenger John James are making their final cases to voters in the closing days of a $ 100 million-plus duel that will help shape whether presidential winners can win their legislative agenda.

Michigan, Long a presidential battleground, is also a major Senate battleground in 2020.

The only non-incumbent Democrat to claim a Senate seat in 2014, Peters, is one of just two Senate Democrats running in the state Donald Trump won four years ago. Public elections have shown him increasing his lead over James, a black businessman and Iraq war veterans, but Republicans who put an early emphasis see a shot. Trump has implicated Democrat Joe Biden at the top of the ticket.

“We see a potential opportunity,” said Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that put an additional $ 4.6 million into Michigan this weekend to support James. “We think the number is increasing rapidly.”

Peters Camp, however, indicates steady turnout and her appeal between female and independent voters. He also highlights his bipartisan legislative achievements, stating that Republicans have no plans to change the federal health care law, if the Supreme Court requests it by the Trump administration during the Coronavi epidemic. I threw it out.

“We have a real shot at taking a majority in the Senate. But we must catch Michigan. “He said on Thursday in East Lansing, where he joined Jill Biden for a tentative launch with teachers. “The Senate is so important to ensure that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are successful.”

When selecting black voters a day earlier in Detroit, a 61-year-old Peters pointed to James’ presence at a Trump rally in Lansing, saying that James has supported Trump “2,000%” – a comment that in 2017 James did it during a GOP primary. He has accused James of hiding from policy issues and relying on “shallow talking points”.

James, 39, campaigned at the United Nations on Thursday with former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley. He called Peters an “invisible man” who skips committee meetings and a “gaslizer” who is a credible vote for liberal policies.

He said that Michigan is a “purple state” and that other senators in Michigan have advocated “balance” since Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat. “Both sides have failed,” he said, adding the GOP is far from perfect, but its platform most closely aligns with its economic and moral values ​​because the Left cannot be trusted.

He highlighted his experience of flying army helicopters in the war and led an automotive logistics company founded by his father. Peters is also a veteran, serving in the Navy Reserve.

“I believe our time is now,” James said.

He aims to become the first Michigan Republican to win a Senate seat in the quarter-century. According to data from ad tracking firm Cantor / CMAG, candidates and affiliate groups have spent $ 130 million on TV, digital and radio advertisements. Democrats have put $ 13 million more into advertising than Republicans. Unlike other Republican Senate candidates, James maintains a massive fundraising spree with his opponent.

In a closing ad, Peters features his wife, who says that her problem-solving husband will “take on anyone” because it is personal for him. He pledges to protect people from worrisome conditions, low drug prices and strengthen manufacturing.

James’s final ad features a bid for unity between political polarization, with the narrator – actor Tim Allen, who voices “pure Michigan” tourism commercials – highlighting James’ life experience and his charity work.

Experts say the likely results will largely add to the presidential race, where Biden appears to be well positioned due to Trump’s delay.

John Selleck, a GOP strategist, said that Trump – who is often campaigning here in the last campaign – would have to narrow the margin to 4 percentage points by expanding the universe of blue-collar and rural voters, along with his seniors Standing upside down has to be done. The tide in conservative Western Michigan with the recent appointment of Amy Connie Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Peters joined Biden and former President Barack Obama on Saturday at events in the Democratic strongholds of Detroit and Flint.

“There’s definitely a way forward for James because he’ll likely overtake Trump by establishing his presence as a candidate, but it’s kind of hard to get Biden Obama to get him to vote in the black. Trying to create, the way Peter failed to do, ”said Selleck.

But Lons Johnson, a former president of the Michigan Democratic Party, said it would be difficult for James to beat his party’s standard-bearer, whose performance with Biden became a referendum for the president by more than 1 or 2 points.

“He’s still running a tough race here,” he said. “There’s just one way.”

Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed to this report.

Follow David Eggert at

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