Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stabenow could be in trouble

Voters in Michigan are pretty evenly divided in their assessments of Debbie Stabenow's job performance and she could be vulnerable in 2012 if Republicans put forward a strong challenger.

41% of Michigan voters approve of the job Stabenow's doing while 40% disapprove. Her numbers are pretty much completely polarized along party lines. 71% of Democrats approve and only 10% disapprove of her. With Republicans those numbers are nearly reversed with 73% disapproving and only 11% approving of her. Putting her on slightly positive ground overall are independents, 43% of whom give her good marks to 36% who disapprove.

Tested against a bevy of hypothetical Republican opponents Stabenow leads every match up, but in some of the cases it's very close. She's up 45-44 on Congressman and Gubernatorial loser Pete Hoekstra, 43-41 against Congresswoman and former Secretary of State Candice Miller, and 45-41 against current Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. Stabenow benefits from a broader lead against former Governor John Engler, who she's on top of 49-42, and businessman Tim Leuliette who has perhaps shown the most public interest in running so far and trails Stabenow 47-30.

Stabenow's position looks a lot more perilous than Barack Obama's did in numbers released yesterday. The main reason for that is the quality of the opponents- Michigan voters don't necessarily like these potential challengers to Stabenow but with the exception of Engler they at least don't strongly dislike them, which is a contrast to the dim reviews they gave the GOP Presidential field. Asked to rate Hoekstra, Miller, Land, and Leuliette the primary response of voters is ambivalence- 41% don't know enough about Hoekstra to have an opinion, 43% say the same when it comes to Miller and Land, and that number rises to 81% for Leuliette.

Engler is easily the best known of these hypothetical Republican candidates, but voters in the state don't much care for him anymore with only 33% holding a favorable opinion of him to 45% with an unfavorable one. Democrats (66%) are stronger in their dislike of him than Republicans (54%) are in their affection for him and independents split against him by a 28/50 margin as well. This is a case much like Wisconsin for the 2010 cycle where it might seem like getting a once popular former Governor to run would be a good thing for Republicans but in reality they might be better off with a fresher face.

Michigan voters are not dying to get rid of Stabenow and usually when that's the case a Senator will get reelected. Stabenow should be aided in particular by having Barack Obama back at the top of the ticket to drive Democratic turnout. But if Republicans get a strong candidate this has the potential to be a very close race.

Full results here


Unknown said...

The fact that Harry Reid survived worse numbers in Nevada has given far too much confidence to Dems that their embattled incumbents can make a similair comeback, but Stabenow is no Harry Reid, first and foremost she won't scare anyone out of the race like Reid did with Heller, this matches with #2 that she doesn't have anywhere near the cash or campaign credibility to do to the Republican nominee what Reid did to Angle (with her help of course). I'm not saying you should stick a fork in her, but in what is shaping up to be very tough year for Dems they needed Stabenow to have Klobuchar type numbers not McCaskill type numbers.

Anonymous said...

She could be riding the Michigan economy, which couldn't be worse. She probably gets re-elected on President Obama's coattails or loses on them.

Anonymous said...

Stabenow seems in the good numbers for win. I think no-one house incumbet will be enough courageous for run against her, and this poll is pretty bad for Engler.

I would be interested in Stabenow vs Snyder results too, but it seems you have not.

Anonymous said...

What are the approvals of the republican potential challengers?

Dustin Ingalls said...

"What are the approvals of the republican potential challengers?"

Can you click on the link for the full results?

Red Wolverine said...

A POX on the GOP if they can't get rid of this dolt. My friends who work in the capital tell me she is litterally the dumbest person in the senate.

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