New Poll Shows Close 2020 Senate Race in Michigan

Michigan senator Gary Peters poses with wife Colleen at Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Mich., December 1, 2018. (Raj Mehta/USA Today Sports)

A new poll out of Michigan shows first-term Democratic senator Gary Peters facing a real challenge in 2020. Peters leads his Republican challenger John James just 44 percent to 40 percent, according to the survey conducted by the Glengariff Group, with 16 percent of voters undecided.

James, a 38-year-old African-American combat veteran and businessman, lost a Senate race to incumbent Debbie Stabenow in the 2018 Democratic wave, but Stabenow’s 6.5-point margin of victory was much smaller than it was in previous races. She won her 2012 race by 21 points and her 2006 race by 16 points. In the 2014 Republican wave, the Democrat, Peters, still managed to win his first Senate race by 13 points.

James is also showing strength as a fundraiser ahead of the 2020 election: During the last three months of 2019, James hauled in $3.5 million while Peters raised just $2.5 million.

In 2016, Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate in a generation to carry Michigan when he outperformed the polls to win by 0.2 points. The new Glengariff Group survey shows Trump trailing Joe Biden by 7 points and Bernie Sanders by 4 points. Both Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg lead Trump by just 2 points in the same poll.

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