ICYMI · News · Press Release

GOP Strategist in MI-03: “The Democrat has gotten a really lucky draw”

“An Increasingly Negative Republican Primary Fight,” Plus Amash’s Decision Not to Run Give Scholten an Opening

“Democrats have made gains in the district in recent years”

“Hillary Scholten’s deep roots in West Michigan and a lifetime of advocating for families, coupled with the shifting suburban landscape make Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats in November,” said DCCC Spokesperson Courtney Rice. “No matter which Republican makes it out of the primary on August 4, they’ll be up against their party’s record of prioritizing the needs of special interests and stripping health care from hardworking Americans—even during a global pandemic.”

Bloomberg: Amash Retirement Opens Michigan Seat Democrats Plan to Target
Samantha Handler

Rep. Justin Amash’s decision not to run as a third-party candidate for his seat in November may have provided an opening for Democrats, as an increasingly negative Republican primary fight comes to a close.

Democrats say Amash’s July 17 announcement that the Republican-turned-Libertarian won’t seek re-election makes the race a clearer contrast for voters and, along with the district’s shifting suburban vote, will help the party pick up a seat in the Grand Rapids area for the first time since 1976.

With Amash out of the picture, private Democratic polling shows their nominee, immigration attorney Hillary Scholten, in a close race with either of the Republican front-runners, Army veteran Peter Meijer and state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis. […] A Scholten campaign internal poll conducted in June showed her leading Meijer by 1 percentage point and tied with Afendoulis.

Democrats have made gains in the district in recent years. The Democratic nominee for the House seat in 2018 received 43% of the vote, while the 2016 candidate received 38%. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) also improved upon the party’s past performance in the district, receiving 49% in 2018 compared to the 2014 candidate’s 40%.

DCCC regional spokeswoman Courtney Rice said the district’s shifting suburban landscape makes it a “prime pickup opportunity” for Democrats.

Without a primary to contend with, Scholten ended the pre-primary fundraising period on July 15 with $572,000 on hand, more than Meijer’s $406,000 and Afendoulis’ $141,000.

The Democrat has gotten a really lucky draw. Their opponents were all out and done by February,” Meijer spokesman Noah Sadlier said.


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