GOP Candidate John James Surging in Polls, Could Steal Seat from Democrats in Michigan

John James has a shot at taking out Gary Peters.

Image Credit: John James YouTube

A Michigan Senate race that should be a lock for the Democrats is turning into a horse race in the final weeks, as Republican Army combat veteran John James is within 5 points, almost a statistical tie, of beating incumbent Democrat Senator Gary Peters, D-MI. Janes lost his 2018 Senate race in Michigan against Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, after a tough primary race. A new Detroit News-WDIV-TV poll out Tuesday shows Peters leading 45% to 40%.

While it isn’t time for James to break out the champagne, a race many, including this analyst, thought was a goner for the Republicans may just work out for them. Another poll has James ahead.


A James internal campaign memo was intentionally leaked to Fox News showing a tightening race and with momentum working for James.

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Fox: “John James, the Michigan Senate GOP candidate, raised $14 million in the third quarter and is within ‘striking distance’ of upsetting incumbent Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI…In a sign of the competitive race, the super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is pumping $5.4 million into ad spending in Michigan this week alone to help bolster Peters, the memo authored by James’ campaign also revealed.”

“Chuck Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC will spend $5.4 million in one week — this is the most money they are spending on any Democrat in the entire nation,” James’ consultant, Stu Sandler, wrote. “They are very nervous about John James, and they should be…James has kept pace with his opponent and continues to exceed nationwide trends,” Sandler opined in the memo, saying their internal polling has the contest “tied” at 48% for Peters and 46% for James. Now granted, the James campaign released this for coverage and to create momentum of their own. But Michigan went for Trump in 2016. Will they repeat the GOP trend in 2020?

“The astounding sum that the Senate Majority PAC is spending shows how close John James is to winning the U.S. Senate seat in Michigan,” the memo also says. “Schumer and the Democrats are in sheer panic that the $35 million that they have already spent against John James over the past year still has John James within striking distance of winning the Senate race.” Democrats scoffed.

“John James is the handpicked candidate of Mitch McConnell, Betsy DeVos, and the out-of-state billionaires and corporate special interests who are trying to buy this Senate seat,” said Stewart Boss, of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Voters are going to reject James again next month because they know he’s tried to deceive them about his harmful agenda to repeal their health care and can’t be trusted to put Michigan families ahead of his party leaders and donors in Washington.”

Another Democrat chimed in, “Republicans are eager to bail out John James, who is failing gain to traction because of his out-of-touch views on health care and taking away coverage for those with pre-existing conditions,” Democrat spox Matt Corridoni told media. Methinks the Democrats doth protest too much and with it, they are sounding desperate. Not a good tone less than a month out.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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