The national Republican Party is pulling out of the Michigan Senate race, and trying to spin their retreat as a “move of strength.” But anyone who lives in Michigan has been privy to Terri Lynn Land’s (R) rather spectacular fail.
The Hill confirmed reports of the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulling more than $850,000 out of the state, “The NRSC’s independent expenditure arm has canceled television reservations for the last two weeks of the campaign, pulling more than $850,000 out of the state.”
Citing Terri Lynn Land’s opponent Rep. Gary Peters’ (D-MI) strength in the polls, the Hill writes, “Republican strategists privately concede that she’s struggled.”
Further, this retreat is all about strength y’all:
An NRSC strategist argued the move was made from a position of strength, pointing to Land’s cash edge, and said that the official Republican Party will remain invested in get-out-the-vote operations in the state.
“Terri Lynn Land’s fundraising prowess over Gary Peters plus the public support from multiple groups is allowing us to shift TV resources elsewhere for the moment while continuing our investment in the campaign on the ground,” said the source. “The ground game and turnout operation in Michigan is already one of the strongest campaigns in the country.”
Yes, Terri Lynn Land did raise a lot more money than Democrat Gary Peters did. This fact is not attributable to her fundraising prowess so much as it is to her personal money, as she donated a cool $2.9 million to herself.
In fact, this “fundraising prowess” has made her the center of allegations that she possibly violated campaign finance law:
One complaint asks the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether Land broke campaign finance law by donating $2.9 million of her own money to her campaign. She had previously not disclosed that she had that much money.
The other complaint is with the Michigan Secretary of State questioning if Land lied about her employment on campaign finance documents. She had said she was an owner of Land & Co, although she has recently said she was never employed by the company
Land also left off a huge source of her income in her filings due to a “clerical error.” (These kinds of “mistakes” know no party.)
In fact, without her own money, Land would have raised less than her opponent. The Republican raised $8.6 million (including the $2.9 million from her own bank account), whereas Peters has raised just under $7 million in total. However, Land is in a better position financially in terms of cash right now.
Land has been polling behind her opponent for a while now. In early September, Peters held a 10 point lead over Land, 47% to 37% via a local poll done by the Detroit News. Real Clear Politics has Peters with a +6.7 point lead, outside of the margin of error.
The Republican Party is not pulling money out of the Michigan race as a sign of strength. They are pulling out because their candidate is a hot mess and they can’t afford to throw money after her. They also know that she has access to tons of dark money, which will toss up lie after lie on the TV before November 4th. Although the Detroit Free Press reported today that they, too, smell the fail and are on the run for greener pastures, “Other outside groups, too, are bailing on Michigan, suggesting it’s fallen out of reach for Land.”
Yeah, that totally screams “position of strength.” Republicans didn’t foresee having to fight so hard to pick up the seats they need to takeover the Senate. Remember, they keep pretending there is a “GOP wave”. But in reality, they had to pull out of Michigan to defend and fight elsewhere, where their candidates are in tight races.
The thing is, Michigan voters aren’t stupid. Yes, they were fooled by “I’m a nerd” Rick Snyder, but on paper he appeared to be a moderate nerd, just as he said. It was only after he got into office that they discovered he as steeped in tea and out to plunder public resources for private corporations.
The Republican Party is on the run in Michigan, right out of the Senate race. This is what they get for offering up a field of Senate candidates who match their Tea Party counterparts in the House. Crazy in the Senate? Americans usually say no thanks. What is an easy sell in Texas is much harder to pull off in a blue state like Michigan.
Image: The Detroit News
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.