MI Senate: John James Outraises Gary Peters in Q1

Posted: Apr 07, 2020 10:30 AM
MI Senate: John James Outraises Gary Peters in Q1

Source: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Republican Senate candidate John James posted huge fundraising numbers in the first quarter of 2020, as he tries to unseat Democrat incumbent Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI). This marks the third quarter in a row that James has outraised Sen. Peters, who is struggling with name identification in his own state.

November’s Senate contest in Michigan is shaping up to be a competitive battleground state. James ran for Senate in 2018, during the Democratic ‘Blue Wave,’ but lost to 20-year incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) by a mere six points in a tough electoral year for the GOP. Sen. Peters is a much more vulnerable incumbent; in a 2019 Morning Consult poll, 40 percent of Michigan voters did not recognize the name of their junior Senator. 

Sen. Peters's campaign recently rolled out a "resource" website for Michigan residents affected by COVID-19, but keeping in line with the trend of other Democratic Senate candidates, the campaign used the global health pandemic to fundraise:

Sen. Chuck Schumer appears to be prepping to bail out an unpopular, unknown Sen. Peters. Senate Majority PAC, closely aligned with Sen. Schumer, spent $3 million on ads in the last three weeks attacking James.

President Trump won Michigan by a slim margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and James is a close ally of the president. Former Vice President Joe Biden is admittedly vetting Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) for vice president, after vowing to select a woman as his running mate if he clinches the Democratic nomination. Gov. Whitmer has joined Biden in using COVID-19 as an excuse to attack President Trump:

Trump Rising
Kurt Schlichter

As Biden's ability to fundraise and keep up on the campaign trail depletes, and with a young, popular GOP Senate candidate on the ballot, Michigan is undoubtedly at play in November.