New Print Edition: KY3, MI Senate, & Senate Ratings
April 7, 2006 · 3:39 PM EDT
Kentucky 3: Bucking the Trend
By Nathan L. Gonzales
Republican incumbents in districts carried by John Kerry are bracing themselves for the potential Democratic wave this November, but Kentucky’s 3rd District Cong. Anne Northup (R) is hoping to be the exception rather than the rule.
For four consecutive cycles, Democratic candidates have challenged Northup in her Democratic tilting district, but all went down to defeat. This year, Democrats are hoping they can begin a different kind of streak.
National Democrats made a heavy push to get 2002 nominee Jack Conway (D) into the race, but he declined to run again. But two Democrats are battling for the nomination, which will be decided on May 16: Iraq War veteran Andrew Horne and newspaper publisher John Yarmuth. Meanwhile, Northup continues to build an intimidating campaign war chest.
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Michigan Senate: Wading Upstream
Republicans spent much of last year cycling through a list of potential candidates, but they are still taking their best shot at Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Even after names like Cong. Candice Miller, Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon, and Jane Abraham dropped off the board, three Republicans remain in the race to take on the incumbent.
But even though the national environment is proving to be ominous for President Bush and his party, Republicans believe the economic situation in Michigan may give them a unique opportunity.
The state’s economy has lagged behind in recovery compared to its Midwest neighbors, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s (D) job approval numbers have suffered as a result. Two-thirds of the voters believe the state is headed down the wrong track and millionaire businessman Dick DeVos (R) is already running television ads against the governor.
Republican Senate candidates Mike Bouchard, Keith Butler, and Jerry Zandstra are hoping to take advantage of the potential opportunity if state voters are looking for a change and want to take out their anger on the two top officeholders in the state on the ballot this November: Stabenow and Granholm.
Michigan remains a battleground state. John Kerry won it back in 2004, 51%-48%, over President Bush. But Republicans control both the state House (58-52) and the state Senate (22-16). Voters do not register by party in the state.
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**A final note to our Print Subscribers: Beginning with this issue, we will be updating our 2006 Ratings (rotating House, Senate and Governors) more frequently from now until Election Day.