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Long-Time Democratic Senator in Michigan Faces Surging Republican Challenger

Long-Time Democratic Senator in Michigan Faces Surging Republican Challenger Read Transcript


- Polls in the Michigan Senate race showed

Republican challenger,John James, closing the gap

on Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow.

Most recent polling hasStabenow ahead by a clear margin

but Democrats are takingthe challenge seriously.

With former President Obamastumping for Stabenow,

just last week.

Caitlin Burke brings us this look

at a race where Republicansare hoping to take a seat away

from the Democrats.

- [Caitlin] The Senate racein Michigan has gotten closer.

With underdog Republicancandidate, John James,

making a late October surge,- Right now we have a stark

- [Caitlin] in the polls.- contrast and we have-

Now, he's giving incumbent Senator,

Debbie Stabenow, thepolitical fight of her life.

- This whole race started on my knees.

This whole thing startedwith praying for wisdom

and asking the Lord to notnecessarily make my path easy

but to make it clear andHe's absolutely done that.

So, I have the faith andbelieve that I may be

in this position for a time such as this.

And, it's not because I'm anything special

but because God ispreparing to do a great work

in the state of Michigan.

- [Caitlin] Michiganis a key battleground.

President Trump barelywon the state in 2016.

- It was the closest marginof victory of any state

in the country, so although he did win,

his victory shows a veryclosely divided state.

- [Caitlin] Now, as Republicansfight to maintain control

of the House and Senate,political analyst and reporter,

Robert Yoon, sees Michiganas a state to watch.

Because voters here tend tocross party lines for candidates

who appeal to them.

- They've shown that inelections in the past,

where they'd elect Republican Governors

and a Democratic Senator,or in the case of 2016,

vote for a Republican for President.

- Democratic incumbent Stabenow,has represented Michigan

in the Senate for 18 years,serving as a commissioner,

state representative,and U.S. representative,

along the way.

We reached out to the Stabenow campaign

with interview requestsand received no response.

Throughout her campaign,Stabenow has focused

on standing up for families,farmers, and job creation.

She also points to her abilityto work across the aisle,

even in a divisive political climate.

- I've worked with Democratsand Republicans my whole life

to get things done.

- John James meanwhile,

has no previous political experience.

He's a veteran and asuccessful Detroit businessman.

- You have so many peoplein Washington who are as far

as business is concerned,they are legislating

and regulating industries,

and they've never run a business before.

I would say that, whatare their qualifications

to impose on the people?

I believe that there is no replacement

or substitute for experience.

- [Caitlin] He says histime on the front lines

taught him about strong national security.

Business experience formed his stance

on economic opportunity.

And, by bringing together soldiers

from different backgroundsunder his command,

he knows a thing or two about unity.

During the primaries,President Trump endorsed James

when he was trailing, helping him secure

the Republican nomination.

Now, with only days left untilthe election, the White House

continues to support thepolitical novice from Michigan.

Yoon says that whileStabenow initially ignored

her Republican rival,she is now running ads

about her work withveterans and the military.

And, warning about the close tie

between James and President Trump.

Not much time remains, to seewhat will make the difference

for these candidates on Tuesday.

Caitlin Burke, CBN News,Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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