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POLITICS: PennAve

Land makes campaign case in memo

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Barack Obama,Senate,Polls,2014 Elections,David M. Drucker,Campaigns,PennAve,Michigan,DSCC,Rick Snyder,Terri Lynn Land,Gary Peters

Michigan Republican Terri Lynn Land is rebutting a new poll that showed Rep. Gary Peters opening up a lead of six percentage points in their battle for an open Senate seat.

Epic MRA, a firm that represents a host of Democrats and Democratic-friendly clients, showed Peters leading Land 45 percent to 39 percent, in a poll of 600 likely voters conducted Aug. 22-25. It had an error margin of 4 percentage points.

A survey conducted by Mitchell Research on Aug. 27 showed a tighter contest, with Peters edging Land 46 percent to 44 percent. The poll surveyed 1,004 likely voters, and had an error margin of 3.09 percentage points.

Land’s internal tracking from this past week, shared with the Washington Examiner, showed a fluctuating race, with Land up two percentage points some nights and down two other nights.

Land's latest nightly tracking numbers showed her narrowly in front of Peters, 41 percent to 39 percent. In portions of a draft of a campaign memorandum obtained by the Examiner, the Land campaign attempted to push back against suggestions that Peters is in the driver’s seat.

“The Michigan Senate race is a dead heat,” the memo reads. “The Land campaign made an early strategic decision not to wait until after the primary to start spending, but instead to begin our ad campaign in earnest two weeks before the primary.”

“The results confirmed what our polling told us: The more that Michigan voters find out about Gary Peters, the less they like him,” the memo continued. Land has taken some heat from Republicans for her performance on the campaign trail, and Democrats argue that her reaction to the Epic MRA poll reveals a candidate who is reeling.

"Whether it's hiding from debates so she doesn't have to face the very Michiganders she's asking for votes from to refusing to explain how she's funneled $3 million dollars from her family business into her campaign, it's not surprising her team has taken to arguing over public polls. Land's campaign is getting desperate to prove they aren't a sinking ship," said Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Michigan hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1994, and the state has generally been tough on the party in statewide races ever since.

But Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is a favorite to win a second term this year, and the RealClearPolitics average of Senate race polls shows a close contest, with Peters in front of Land 45.3 percent to 41.5 percent.

The Land campaign said that the Epic MRA poll showing Snyder trailing his Democratic challenger by two points is all the proof needed that the survey is off base.

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David M. Drucker

Senior Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

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