Michigan’s open Senate seat is in play since Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) announced his retirement earlier in the year. Michigan, like Colorado, was won by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Democrats expected to sail into re-election victory in both states. However, the breakdown of the Obamacare website and the slow implosion of the law itself are affecting races Democrats thought they already had in the bag.
For almost fourteen years, Michigan has been represented by two Democrats in the upper chamber on Capitol Hill.
Less than 7,000 Michigan residents bought health insurance through the federal government’s website during the first two months of the enrollment period, the Grand Rapids Business Journal reported. The state estimated around 365,000 residents could sign up to be covered by 2014, but non-state estimates show that number is more likely to be around 127,000.
Jennifer Duffy at the Cook Political Report remarked that a recent Michigan state-wide poll shows the Senate race a more competitive one than first believed, changing Cook’s appraisal of the upcoming election from “Leans Democrat” to “Toss Up.”
The Detroit Free Press notes that the election is still 11 months away, so anything can happen. Additionally, the Rothenberg Political Report still considers the Michigan election as “Democrat Favored.”
Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) (pictured, left) is expected to face former Secretary of State and Republican Terri Lynn Land (pictured, right) in Michigan’s 2014 statewide race. Duffy pointed out that even the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling Survey shows Land ahead of Peters by two points. Compare that to Levin’s last re-election results in 2008, when Levin drew almost 63 percent of the vote, or Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) who managed to win in 2012 with 59 percent of the vote.