If Gary Peters versus Terry Land in the Michigan Senate race is a bellwether for November, an already weak Peters could be the first sign in what may be shaping up as a huge wave election for the GOP.
Reading between the lines of recent estimates from Nate Silver’s 538 Blog, a Republican victory in Michigan’s U.S. Senate tussle looks to be the greatest of excess luxury items for the GOP, yet an existential threat for Democrats. If Democratic Congressman Gary Peters fails to become U.S. Senator Gary Peters, it could likely be because his party will have disastrously lost every single competitive Senate race.
Rather than Republicans netting six wins from the 36 contested races – the number needed to seize control of the Senate – a Peters loss might easily mean Democrats suffer a double-digit deficit. Whether Peters loses or not, this Doomsday scenario is a real possibility because of who he’s running against.
Land was thought to be a weak candidate going in and Peters was expected to win handily. That’s not happening.
Not only has Land closed to within the margin of error, she’s prepared to outspend Peters by a wide margin down the stretch. Along with all of their other headaches – a weak White House and disastrous immigration policy – an unexpectedly competitive race in Michigan will force the Democrats to expend resources they are sure to miss elsewhere.
Just as the so called Tea Party wave in 2010 left the GOP with a strong grip on the House, taking the conservative line on both foreign policy and immigration in 2014 could do the same for them as regards the Senate. Along with the Democrats, the real losers in 2014 are beginning to look like the GOP professional class that’s been whining about moderation.