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Michigan

Outlook: Likely Democratic


November 8, 2006 Update:

As the Crystal Ball predicted, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) won reelection over Mike Bouchard (R) with 57% of the vote.

November 6, 2006 Update:

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) will win reelection over Mike Bouchard (R). Why national Republicans won’t give up on this race is beyond us; many argue Bouchard is gaining back some ground, but we say too little too late. It’s true that many Michigan voters decide between candidates late in the game, but if Bouchard is mounting a miraculous final week comeback, we’re seeing no signals of it.

October 2, 2006 Update:

Republican Mike Bouchard is going to great lengths to tie incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow to Michigan’s economic woes. Bouchard even took a drive around the state in a U-Haul to emphasize all the Michigan residents who have fled the state in search of employment. Stabenow is making her best effort to tie Bouchard to President Bush. The president narrowly lost Michigan in both 2000 and 2004. Stabenow leads most polls by 6 to 8 percentage points and has a clear advantage in the money race, but it is still too soon to completely count Bouchard out.

Meredith Ramsey, Crystal Ball Midwestern Regional Correspondent

August 10, 2006 Update:

Michigan voters in the August 8 Republican primary selected Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard to face incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow in the November general election. Bouchard will attempt to translate his 20-point primary victory into momentum for the coming weeks, but Stabenow still has a considerable advantage in money and poll numbers.

August 2, 2006 Update:

The race for the GOP nomination has become a real horse-race between Michael Bouchard and Keith Butler. Essentially, at this point, it is unpredicatable; Senator Debbie Stabenow would probably defeat either one, though the Democrat must be nervous about Gov. Jennifer Granholm‘s weakness in her bid for reelection. Could the disease spread throught the Democratic ticket? Probably not, but it is worth watching.

June 1, 2006 Update:

Senator Debbie Stabenow is expected to win the general election handily. Unlike the governor’s race, this contest is not and will not be particularly close.


Background

Freshman Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow upset one-term Republican Senator Spencer Abraham in 2000. Abraham went on to serve as energy secretary in the first Bush administration, and, briefly, Spencer’s wife, Jane, considered challenging Stabenow in 2006. Alas, there will be no grudge match.

Instead, the Republican candidate will either be former Detroit city councilman and African-American Rev. Keith Butler or Oakland County sheriff and former state senate majority leader Mike Bouchard. Rev. Butler is dynamic and energetic, and at one time he was considered the favorite to win the GOP nomination. However, Bouchard has come on strong, especially since he has gotten encouragement from state party elders who do not think Butler can win. However, any incumbent Democrat is favored in Michigan, so the early edge certainly goes to Senator Stabenow.

Candidates

Debbie Stabenow (I) – Democrat – Second Quarter Raised: $1,302,098 | Cash on Hand: $6,963,463
Website

Keith Butler – Republican – Second Quarter Raised: $395,677 | Cash on Hand: $649,136
Website

Mike Bouchard – Republican – Second Quarter Raised: $602,050 | Cash on Hand: $1,088,972
Website

Leonard Schwartz – Independent – law and economics professor, affiliated with the Libertarian party
Website