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Sen. Peters in virtual tie with James for U.S. Senate seat, new poll shows


Republican Senate hopeful John James, left, and Democratic Sen. Gary Peters. - JOHN JAMES CAMPAIGN, U.S. SENATE
  • John James campaign, U.S. Senate
  • Republican Senate hopeful John James, left, and Democratic Sen. Gary Peters.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and his Republican challenger John James are neck-and-neck in a new poll, three months after the Democratic incumbent had enjoyed a 10-point lead.

The New York Times/Siena College survey shows Peters leading James 43% to 42% among likely voters. A Detroit Free Press poll found Peters leading James 50% to 40% in July.

In 2018, James lost to incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow by 6.5 points.

It’s unclear why Peters is losing momentum, though some political observers speculate that the low-key incumbent is struggling with name recognition, while his charismatic opponent, a West Point graduate, is getting regular spots on Fox News. Never mind that James rarely takes a stand on important issues and routinely evades questions outside the conservative media.

Whatever the case, Peters is considered essential to the Democrats’ quest to gain control of the Senate.

Both candidates have sunk so much money into the race that it’s projected to be the most expensive in Michigan history, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Despite that, the New York Times/Siena College survey found that about 20% of likely voters have no opinion on either candidate.

“Part of Mr. Peters’s weakness is that he has thus far failed to match Mr. Biden’s tallies among nonwhite voters, who disproportionately remain undecided,” The New York Times wrote. “It remains to be seen whether Mr. James, who is Black, will ultimately make significant inroads among these voters.”

The same poll found Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 48% to 40%.

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