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GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Michigan voters are becoming more familiar with Pete Hoekstra, the former nine-term West Michigan Congressman and frontrunner in the GOP race to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
That doesn’t translate to a better perception of the Holland Republican, a poll released today shows.
An EPIC-MRA survey of 600 voters shows Hoekstra gained name recognition, improving from 26 percent to 18 percent of respondents who knew him, but his favorability ratings didn’t follow suit.
Hoekstra’s popular perception slipped one percent, from 29 to 28, while his unfavorability ranking grew from 21 to 23 percent from a similar poll conducted in January.
The poll, completed between March 31 and April 3, also showed Stabenow failing to woo the electorate, losing seven percentage points in favorability, from 52 to 45. She suffered from growing dissatisfaction, going from 35 percent to 40 percent of those with an impression of her.
The unfavorable responses create a new high for Stabenow, who in three earlier polls topped out at 39 percent in November. She was as low as 35 percent in January, EPIC-MRA statistics show.
From Grand Rapids Press:
GRAND RAPIDS – Herman Cain said today that former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra has pledged support for the one-time presidential candidate’s 9 percent tax plan.
Hoekstra, a Holland Republican seeking to challenge and upend U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, will tour the state with Cain on Thursday, making stops in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti and Troy.
Cain’s tax plan calls for the elimination of the current tax system, replacing it with an across the board 9 percent tax on personal income, corporate income and a national sales tax.
Projections by the Washington Times show it would bring in only $1.8 trillion, $360 billion short of what the government currently rakes in annually. Cain has said his plan is revenue neutral and would take of as the economy rebounds. He said it returns power to the people and takes it away from the government.
“Adopting my 9-9-9 tax plan is one way to do just that,” Cain said in a news release. “I’m delighted to have Pete on board.”
From The Detroit News:
Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra has a commanding lead in his bid to be the one to challenge U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November, a Detroit News/WDIV Local 4 poll shows.
More than half of the poll respondents said they would support Hoekstra in the Republican primary in August, more than the 4.8 percent who back Clark Durant, co-founder of Detroit’s Cornerstone Schools. Undecideds were at 38 percent.
The only other candidate of the six announced Republicans to crack even 1 percent was Randy Heckman, a former Kent County judge. He registered 1.8 percent support.
The poll shows that 50 percent of respondents have a very favorable or somewhat favorable impression of Hoekstra, while Durant registered a nearly 10 percent favorable impression. But a whopping 62 percent said they had never heard of Durant.
Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of Stabenow, while 20.2 percent said they had a favorable opinion of the two-term senator.
Also in the race are Peter Konetchy, a businessman from Roscommon; Gary Glenn of Midland, president of the American Family Association of Michigan; and Brighton businessman Chuck Marino. None registered more than 1 percent support among respondents.
The poll of 500 registered voters has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
From the Grand Rapids Press:
GRAND RAPIDS – A poll that shows support for former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra waning and backing for incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow gaining steam should be taken lightly, the Republican’s campaign said today.
“This is a snapshot in February that we don’t necessarily agree with, and it doesn’t have any bearing on what will happen,” said Paul Ciaramitaro, a Hoekstra spokesman. “Overall, we’re happy with where we stand as the best Republican candidate to take on and beat Debbie Stabenow.
“The more people learn about Debbie Stabenow’s record, we’re confident they’ll understand that Pete is the best person to represent Michigan.”
Poll results project Stabenow to beat Hoekstra by 14 points, 51 to 37, and that she would beat the former Congressmen’s chief GOP opponent Clark Durant even more handily, 50-33. A July poll showed Stabenow with a 9 percent lead over Hoekstra.
Hoekstra, who served nine terms in the U.S. House, enjoys an enormous 42 percent to 9 percent lead over Durant, who founded Cornerstone Schools, among those likely to vote in the Republican primary.
The figures show voters found fault with Hoekstra’s Super Bowl ad, which some said carried racial stereotypes of Chinese while attacking Stabenow’s spending that he claims has hurt the country. The ad and website have since been pulled.
Ciaramitaro said the polling firm’s sample, which included 10 percent more self-identified Democrats than Republicans, hurts its accuracy. There were also 10 percent more females queried than males when 2010 U.S. Census figures show the gender ratio in Michigan nearly even.
“This Democrat poll lost all credibility when it had both party affiliation and voter demographics skewed by ten percent,” Ciaramitaro. “If this survey had been balanced professionally and correctly, it would have been a good result for the Hoekstra campaign.”
From the Detroit Free Press:
The early front-runner for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate — former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Holland — will skip a debate Saturday in Mt. Pleasant sponsored by dozens of tea party groups around Michigan.
Five other candidates — all hoping to win in the August primary the opportunity to unseat Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November — will attend the event at Central Michigan University.
Stabenow is seeking her third term after winning the seat in a razor-thin victory over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham in 2000.
The tea party groups hope the debate will help them find a candidate to solidify behind early in the race.
“I think (Hoekstra’s decision) is a mistake,” said Cindy Gamrat, a leader of the Plainwell Patriots tea party group in west Michigan. “Within these groups there’s an estimated 12,000 tea party members and I would think that all the candidates would want to connect to these voters.”
This is what Herman Cain means by unconventional endorsements. Since making history by changing the national narrative from tweaking around the edges to replacing our antiquated Tax Code, and the people rallying behind the 9-9-9 plan, instead of Cain endorsing candidates he’s going to try and convince candidates to endorse his plan. This is a brilliant move on Cain;s part and would serve candidates, especially conservative candidates, well to adopt!
From The Hill.com
When former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse CEO and Florida Senate candidate Craig Miller (R) announced that he and Herman Cain would be making a joint “major announcement,” Florida politicos immediately speculated that Cain would be endorsing Miller’s Senate bid.
As it turns out, it’s just the opposite.
When the two men appear together in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, Miller will pledge his support for Cain’s now-legendary 9-9-9 tax plan, a Cain aide told The Hill.
“He is the first U.S. office-seeking candidate to sign on to commit to Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan,” the aide said.
The move is part of a push by Cain — in the wake of his presidential campaign that ended amid a flurry of allegations of sexual harassment — to keep alive his trademark plan for 9 percent corporate, sales and income tax rates.
It may at first seem dubious why any other political aspirant would want to attach their name to Cain’s. But in Miller’s case, he needs all the attention he can get.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed Miller capturing 1 percent in the Republican primary. At 39 percent, Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) is the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination, and the only candidate to top 6 percent.
But appreciative as he may be for Miller’s support for his tax plan, Cain has no current plans to return the favor by endorsing the Florida businessman.
“Mr. Cain is like a father, and now he wants to adopt children, so to speak. He’s saying that kind of tongue-and-cheek, and some people may interpret that,” as an endorsement, the aide said. “At this point, that’s not in the stars.”
But what may be in the stars — according to Cain’s team — are more federal candidates getting behind 9-9-9.
“I’ll tip my hand on this one: Pete Hoekstra in Michigan is in the works to do the same,” the aide said.
Five Republican candidates for Michigan Senate are confirmed for a scheduled debate this month at Central Michigan University.
CMU will host the debate, sponsored by Michigan for a Conservative Senate and CMU Campus Conservatives, at 1 p.m. on Jan. 14 at the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium. According to the Mi4CS website, five candidates are confirmed for the debate: Scotty Boman, libertarian activist and physics and astronomy instructor; Clark Durant, former Hillsdale College vice president; Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association; Randy Hekman, former prosecutor and juvenile court judge; and Chuck Marino, founder of National Building Inspections.
Cindy Gamrat, a Tea Party organizer for Michigan for a Conservative Senate, said Peter Konechty, a small business owner from Roscommon, has declined an invitation to attend. Former U.S. Representative and gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra and Rick Wilson, a former manager in the auto industry from Grand Blanc, have not responded. Gamrat said it is unknown whether the two will take part, but her “gut says no.”
“But there’s still (more than) a week left,” she said. “It’s our goal of the citizens to vet these candidates and get to know them to make an educated decision. We hope they’re still going to jump in.”
The debate, scheduled to last about two hours, will follow a typical format, Gamrat said, with a panel of moderators asking questions. Each candidate will have the same amount of time and an opportunity for rebuttals. Gamrat recently moved to Plainwell, Mich., from Indiana, where she helped organize three debates in 2009 for local elections.
“We’re excited for this opportunity,” she said. “We have some really great candidates in this election for U.S. Senate, and this is an opportunity to get to know them.”
Voters will go to the polls on Aug. 7 to elect a Republican candidate to campaign against Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a democrat, for the general election in November.
With less than 16 months to go, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sees opportunities in a laundry list of states that grows longer with each recruit.
Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra’s (R) decision this week to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) keeps Michigan in the competitive category right when it seemed as if the Senator was cruising. The states to watch are Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin. Outside groups and the party committees have already turned their attention to Democratic incumbents there and have emphasized recruiting.
Democrats’ weak bench in North Dakota means the state’s open seat is already considered the party’s first casualty of the 2012 cycle.