This is beginning to be not such a great year for Democrats. On top of COVID-19, all the civil unrest that is backfiring on them, and having to endure what looks like could be another win for Donald Trump, they just suffered a significant loss in the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. And to make matters worse, they might not be gaining as many Senate seats as they hoped.
Several pollsters and pundits have suggested that the Dems will likely flip a few upper house seats this year, and it has given them a reason to hope for a flip on the Senate’s majority. However, things might not necessarily go as planned if races like the one between Sen. Gary Peters and John James are any indication.
This is GOP candidate and military veteran John James’ second run for the Senate seat, but as Detroit News claims, “This is the right moment for John James.” And it is certainly starting to look that way, especially with an endorsement like that of the News making headlines.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the paper thinks James could do a lot of good in the Senate, or at least more than incumbent Democratic Senator Peters has.
They note that Peters “has been a predictable vote for the Democratic leadership, offering little to set himself apart.” According to them, “he has packed the Democratic Senate leadership on nearly every key vote in his first term, including opposing three well-qualified Supreme Court nominees. He cannot be counted on to check his party’s worst ambitions.”
So essentially, he is a yes man.
And that is precisely what John James is not.
As the paper cites, “Leadership is in James’ DNA. He helped lead his family’s successful auto supply business. As an Army Ranger pilot, he led soldiers in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. And he promises to become a leader of the Senate while bringing to the body the unique perspective of a Black Republican.”
And that last bit holds a significant bit of importance to the state, as well as the city of Detroit, which is made up of nearly 80% African Americans.
The News said of James, “He is waging his campaign at a time when America is trying to work through its long history of racial animus. As an African American, a conservative, and a Republican, James would add an important perspective to policy-making aimed at vanquishing racial inequity.”
“Peters (on the other hand) is one of 73 white males in the Senate.”
And they aren’t wrong.
At this point in time, we have a great responsibility to figure out our racial differences and make peace for our children’s sake and the legacy of our nation. Keeping the Senate with a white male majority isn’t going to change much.
Thankfully, James’ campaign is doing rather well, and much better than I think just about anyone expected.
Then again, his first run for the seat in 2018 against Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow wasn’t a complete loss either. While he didn’t exactly come close to winning, Stabenow, a politician with quite a bit of name cred, only won with a single-digit lead of 6.5. Before Election Day, her lead had been as high as 16 points, which was as late as October 23.
However, this race is providing numbers that look much closer.
Like Stabenow, Peters has held the lead, occasionally even in the double digits, throughout most of the race. But in late August, that all changed, even dropping to below 4 points at one time. Currently, it sits at around 5.2 points, which Real Clear Politics rates as a toss-up.
And according to another pollster, the numbers are even closer.
The Trafalgar poll, asked of 1,034 likely Michigan voters, actually has James in the lead, up to 2.2 percent, although still within the margin of error.
Nevertheless, things aren’t exactly looking good for Peters at this point, or his party. If things keep going in this direction, the Dems might just find themselves at the bottom of the ladder again and without a single hope of gaining upward traction.