by Andrew Trunsky
John James, the Republican senatorial candidate from Michigan, has pulled within one point of incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, according to a New York Times/Sienna College poll released Monday.
Peters leads James 43-42 among likely voters in the state, the poll’s crosstabs show. The poll shows a significant jump in support for James, who trailed Peters 41-31 in a similar NYT poll from June and lost to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the state’s senior senator, two years ago.
James has also proved to be a prolific fundraiser, with his campaign raising $14 million in the third quarter of 2020, matching Peter’s own total, according to The Detroit News.
“Through the grace of our Lord and the generosity of our grassroots, we are one of the only Republican campaigns in the country to match our Democratic opponent,” James said in a statement. “Michiganders are hurting and looking for unity, compassion and results, not partisan political parlor games.”
A major red flag for Democrats: NYT/Siena has Senator Gary Peters leading GOP challenger John James by just 1% (43/42), even as Biden leads 48/40 in the same sample. https://t.co/WEEzftcyBy
GOP is pouring money here, & YouGov found a gap too
(+3% for Peters +6% for Biden).
— Taniel (@Taniel) October 12, 2020
Despite the recent poll showing a neck-and-neck race, Peters still leads James in almost every poll, according to FiveThirtyEight. A victory for James would be critical for Republicans in their effort to hold on their 53-47 Senate majority, since the party is defending vulnerable incumbents in both Democratic-leaning states like Colorado and Maine and Republican-leaning states like South Carolina and Iowa.
Though NYT poll showed James running almost even with Peters, it shows President Donald Trump trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden by eight points, 48-40. Though Trump won the state in 2016, Democrats made widespread gains in the 2018 midterms, winning the governorship, attorney general and secretary of state races and flipping two Republican-held congressional districts.
Biden leads Trump by over eight points in Michigan, according to FiveThirtyEight.
The poll also showed Biden up 51-41 over Trump in Wisconsin, another critical battleground state, reflecting the former vice president’s widening lead over the incumbent.
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Andrew Trunsky is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “John James” by John James.