Long-Time Democratic Senator in Michigan Faces Surging Republican Challenger
- 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.