United States Senate election in Michigan, 2012

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United States Senate election in Michigan, 2012
Michigan
2006 ←
November 6, 2012
→ 2018

  Debbie Stabenow, official portrait.jpg Pete Hoekstra, official portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Nominee Debbie Stabenow Pete Hoekstra
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,735,826 1,767,386
Percentage 58.8% 38.0%

Mi sen 2012.png

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Debbie Stabenow
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Debbie Stabenow
Democratic

The 2012 United States Senate election in Michigan was held on November 6, 2012, alongside a presidential election, other elections to the United States Senate in other states, as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was re-elected to a third term after being unopposed in the Democratic primary. The Republican nominee was former Congressman Pete Hoekstra.

Background[edit]

Incumbent Debbie Stabenow was re-elected in 2006 with 57% of the vote to 41%. She defeated Oakland County sheriff and former State Senate Majority Leader Michael Bouchard after narrowly defeating Republican incumbent Spencer Abraham in 2000. The deadline for candidates to file for the August 7 primary was May 15.[1][2]

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Qualified/On ballot
Filed to run, but failed to qualify
  • Chuck Marino, businessman[11]
  • Rick Wilson, retired autoworker and unsuccessful candidate for the 5th district in 2010[11]
Declined to file

Campaign[edit]

The GOP primary campaign was mainly a battle between Hoekstra and Durant as they were the most visible in running campaign ads. Despite Durant's attack ads, Hoekstra was leading in the polls for the Republican nomination.[25]

On July 20 Glenn suspended his campaign and endorsed Durant; however, his name was still on the ballot due to the time of his withdrawal.[4]

Hoekstra ad controversy[edit]

A still from Pete Hoekstra's campaign advertisement featuring Lisa Chan, as broadcast on February 5, 2012.

Hoekstra targeted Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow with a television ad[26] which ran statewide during the 2012 Super Bowl. The 30-second ad opened with the sound of a gong and showed an Asian woman riding a bike in a rice paddy and talking in pidgin English. The ad is critical of government spending by Stabenow and mocks her name with the Asian woman saying “Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow".[27] The commercial asks viewers to visit Hoekstra's website which has statistics about federal spending beside images of Chinese flags, currency and stereotypical Chinatown font.[28] In the HTML code on Hoekstra’s site the woman in the ad was reportedly previously identified as “yellowgirl.”[29] It has since been removed.

Asian-American groups called the ad “very disturbing”, national GOP consultant Mike Murphy said it was “really, really dumb”, and Foreign Policy magazine managing editor Blake Hounshell called it “despicable.” A coalition of black ministers in Detroit called for Hoekstra to apologize. Two of Hoekstra’s GOP opponents, Clark Durant and Gary Glenn, questioned whether Hoekstra is the right candidate for Republicans to support.[30] The ad was called “blatantly racist" by Michael Yaki, former aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Journalist James Fallows of The Atlantic called it the "most revolting ad".[31] The NAACP denounced the ad as an "unnecessary race card."[32] Some warned the ad would revive discrimination against Asian-Americans in Michigan where smashing imported cars was common in the 1980s, and in 1982 Chinese-American Vincent Chin was beaten to death by two unemployed autoworkers angry about Japanese competition.[33] Critics also pointed out that Hoekstra voted for the $700-billion Wall Street bailout and voted for trillions more in deficit spending while he was in Congress.[27]

A Public Policy Polling poll released on February 14 showed Stabenow leading Hoekstra 51%-37%.[34] In April 2012, Stabenow's campaign reported that she had had her best fundraising quarter ever, taking $1.5m from January to March 2012, which they say was in part due to the advertisement.[35] Hoekstra's campaign, meanwhile, reported disappointing fundraising numbers for the first quarter of 2012, raising just $700,000, down almost $300,000 from the final quarter of 2011.[36]

Despite the criticism, the ad was a factor in Hoekstra's Republican primary victory.[37]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Clark
Durant
Gary
Glenn
Randy
Hekman
Pete
Hoekstra
Peter
Konetchy
Other/
Undecided
Public Policy Polling July 21–23, 2012 452 ± 4.6% 17% 4% 51% 1% 26%
Public Policy Polling May 24–27, 2012 360 ± 5.2% 11% 4% 4% 42% 0% 38%

Results[edit]

Republican Primary Results[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pete Hoekstra 398,793 54.2%
Republican Clark Durant 246,584 33.5%
Republican Randy Hekman 49,080 6.7%
Republican Gary Glenn 40,726 5.5%
Totals 735,183 100%

Fundraising[edit]

Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Debbie Stabenow (D) $10,625,660 $11,376,831 $1,281,907 $0
Pete Hoekstra (R) $5,827,123 $5,550,301 $277,855 $0
Scott Boman (L) $10,280 $10,265 $12 $0
Source: Federal Election Commission[39]

Top contributors[edit]

[40]

Debbie Stabenow Contribution Pete Hoekstra Contribution
EMILY's List $107,650 PVS Chemicals $40,000
DTE Energy $89,150 Caidan Management $33,000
JP Morgan Chase & Co $70,300 Amway $31,300
Blue Cross & Blue Shield $51,682 Dickstein Shapiro LLP $20,999
University of Michigan $45,362 Haworth Inc. $20,000
Vestar Capital Partners $39,950 American Axle & Manufacturing $17,500
Demmer Corp $39,800 Centra Inc $17,000
General Motors $38,350 Byrne Electrical Specialists $15,500
Ford Motor Co $35,375 RA Miller Industries $15,000
Goldman Sachs $34,500 Suburban Collection $15,000

Top industries[edit]

[41]

Debbie Stabenow Contribution Pete Hoekstra Contribution
Lawyers/Law Firms $622,208 Retired $329,199
Financial Institutions $589,188 Real Estate $124,050
Health Professionals $454,525 Republican/Conservative $105,400
Retired $377,484 Manufacturing & Distributing $84,300
Lobbyists $340,063 Leadership PACs $83,750
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $316,122 Lawyers/Law Firms $82,059
Agribusiness $287,603 Automotive industry $68,150
Insurance $286,675 Chemical Industry $58,500
Women's Issues $277,570 Health Services/HMOs $58,000
Leadership PACs $263,500 Business Services $56,493

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Debates[edit]

A number of United States Senate Debates were held in the 2012 election cycle, but none included more than two of the General Election candidates at a time. Incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow did not attend any of them.[46] Before the primary, non-partisan Tea Party groups hosted debates which were open to all candidates, however all but one were attended exclusively by Republican primary candidates.[47] The exception being the Romeo Area Tea Party Forum, on May 21, 2012, which included Scotty Boman after he changed his affiliation from Republican to Libertarian. Republican Pete Hoekstra had originally been scheduled to participate in the debate, but withdrew because he objected to the participation of one of the candidates.[48] The Romeo forum was hosted by WJR AM radio talk show host Frank Beckmann who said the candidate Hoekstra objected to was Boman.[49]

There were debates in Dewitt,[50] Zeeland,[51] and Dearborn[52] which were attended by both Pete Hoekstra and Scotty Boman who both qualified for the general election.[53]

After the Primary Election, some forums were held which were attended by one of the invited United States Senate Candidates, but only two post-primary debates were held where more than one General Election candidate attended: Libertarian Scotty Boman and Green Party candidate Harley Mikkelson attended Forums hosted by the League of Women Voters of Alpena County on October 23,[54] and Gaylord High School on October 24.[55][56]

The Debate on Debates[edit]

Since 1996 WGVU and the Detroit Economic Club hosted United States Senate debates that would feature all United States Senate candidates who had met certain qualifications.[57] In 1994 all balloted candidates were included in the televised debate on WKAR,[58] but since then only major party candidates qualified. Pete Hoekstra and Debbie Stabenow had agreed in principle to debate, but failed to reach a consensus on the number of debates.[59] On October 9 Scotty Boman issued a press release in which he claimed polling results[60] qualified him for the debates.[61] On October 11 the Stabenow campaign issued a statement saying she was “…ending the ongoing debate over debates, due to Congressman Hoekstra’s refusal to accept the traditional U.S. Senate debates and his constant political attacks.”.[46] The Hoekstra campaign responded, “Debbie Stabenow's campaign refused to negotiate in good faith during the entire process.”[46]

Hoekstra continued to ask Stabenow to debate him, and attended at least three debates at which he was the only participant. On October 11 he attended a health care debate sponsored by the Independent Choice Network.[62] On October 18 He attended a debate in Midland which was hosted by a group of local business leaders.[63] Scotty Boman offered to participate in the October 18 debate, but Hoekstra Campaign Manager Greg VanWoerkom said it was too late for Boman to participate since he had his chance to debate Hoekstra before the August primary, when he was running as a Republican.[64] At the time Hoekstra was scheduled to debate with Harley Mikkelson, and Boman at Gaylord High School on October 24,[56] but Hoekstra did not attend it.[56] On October 23 Hoekstra held a debate in Kentwood Michigan.[65]

As an alternative to the traditional WGVU debate, the station produced two back to back interviews with Stabenow and Hoekstra.[66]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Debbie
Stabenow (D)
Pete
Hoekstra (R)
Other Undecided
Mitchell Research November 4, 2012 1,305 ± 2.71% 55% 41% 4%
Angus Reid Public Opinion November 1–3, 2012 502 ± 4.4% 56% 43% 1%
Public Policy Polling November 1–3, 2012 700 ± 3.7% 55% 42% 3%
Baydoun/Foster November 2, 2012 1,913 ± 2.2% 50% 43% 3% 3%
Public Policy Polling October 31–November 1, 2012 500 ± 4.4% 53% 40% 7%
Glengariff October 27–29, 2012 600 ± 4% 52% 38% 10%
EPIC-MRA October 26–29, 2012 600 ± 4% 54% 33% 4% 9%
Angus Reid Public Opinion October 18–20, 2012 551 ± 4.2% 59% 39% 3%
Rasmussen Reports October 11, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 51% 39% 3% 7%
Glengariff October 6–8, 2012 600 ± 4% 50% 38% 10%
EPIC-MRA October 4–6, 2012 600 ± 4% 55% 35% 10%
Gravis Marketing October 5–6, 2012 970 ± 3.2% 48% 39% 7% 6%
Baydoun/Foster October 5, 2012 1,122 ± 2.93% 51% 43% 2% 4%
Angus Reid Public Opinion September 21–22, 2012 804 ± 3.3% 54% 40% 7%
Rasmussen Reports September 20, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 53% 37% 3% 7%
Detroit News September 15–17, 2012 600 ± 4% 50% 34% 16%
Marketing Resource Group September 10–15, 2012 600 ± 4% 46% 40% 14%
Baydoun/Foster September 12, 2012 1,156 ± 2.88% 47% 42% 3% 8%
EPIC-MRA September 8–11, 2012 600 ± 4% 49% 38% 13%
Public Policy Polling August 31–September 2, 2012 815 ± 3.4% 50% 41% 9%
EPIC-MRA August 28, 2012 1,200 ± 2.6% 51% 44% 5%
Mitchell Research August 23, 2012 1,277 ± 2.7% 44% 45% 11%
Detroit News August 18–20, 2012 600 ± 4.0% 48% 40% 12%
Bouydon-Foster August 16, 2012 1,733 ± 2.3% 46% 48% 3% 5%
Bouydon-Foster July 28, 2012 1,046 ± 3.03% 53% 43% 5% 3%
EPIC-MRA July 24–31, 2012 600 ± 4.0% 49% 35% 16%
Rasmussen Reports July 23, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 46% 40% 4% 10%
Public Policy Polling July 21–23, 2012 579 ± 4.1% 52% 38% 10%
NBC News/Marist June 24–25, 2012 1,078 ± 3.0% 49% 37% 14%
Rasmussen Reports June 14, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 48% 39% 3% 10%
EPIC-MRA June 2–5, 2012 600 ± 4.0% 49% 38% 13%
Public Policy Polling May 24–27, 2012 500 ± 4.4% 53% 37% 10%
MRG March 14–19, 2012 600 ± 4.4% 45% 40% 15%
NBC News/Marist February 19–20, 2012 3,149 ± 1.8% 53% 32% 15%
Public Policy Polling February 10–12, 2012 560 ± 4.1% 51% 37% 12%
Wilson Research January 9–11, 2012 601 ± n/a 47% 41% 12%
EPIC-MRA November 13–16, 2011 600 ± 4.0% 48% 42% 10%
EPIC-MRA August 13–16, 2011 600 ± 4.0% 47% 38% 15%
Public Policy Polling July 21–24, 2011 593 ± 4.0% 50% 41% 9%
Public Policy Polling March 18–20, 2011 502 ± 4.4% 50% 38% 12%
EPIC-MRA February 12–17, 2011 600 ± 4.0% 44% 42% 14%
Public Policy Polling December 3–6, 2010 1,224 ± 2.8% 45% 44% 11%

Results[edit]

The following results are official.[53]

2012 United States Senate election, Michigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Debbie Stabenow (incumbent) 2,735,826 58.8% +1.9
Republican Pete Hoekstra 1,767,386 38.0% -3.3
Libertarian Scotty Boman 84,480 1.8% +1.1
Green Harley Mikkelson 27,890 0.6% -
Constitution Richard Matkin 26,038 0.6% +0.1
Natural Law John Litle 11,229 0.2% +0.1
Others Write-in 69 0.0% -
Majority 968,440 20.8%
Turnout 4,652,918
Democratic hold Swing 2%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Ruth (August 7, 2012). "August 7, 2012 Primary and November 6, 2012 General Election: Important Dates and Filing Deadlines". MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Ruth (July 31, 2012). "2012 Official Michigan Primary Candidate Listing". MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 
  3. ^ Miller, Rina (3 August 2012). "Glenn announces bid for U.S. Senate". Michigan Public Media. 
  4. ^ a b Bell, Dawson (20 July 2012). "Gary Glenn suspends campaign, backs Clark Durant". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. ^ Steinhauser, Paul (20 July 2011). "Did the GOP get the candidate it wanted in Michigan?". CNN. 
  7. ^ Press, Associated (September 9, 2011). "Boman joins Republican Michigan US Senate race". Houston Chronicle. 
  8. ^ a b Schultz, Marisa; Chad Livengood (May 24, 2012). "Political insider: Engler feted at CMU renaming (Party-switcher Boman returns to Libertarian party)". The Detroit News. 
  9. ^ Dodson, Andrew (August 4, 2011). "Western Thumb Tea Party group meets tonight in Vassar". MLive.com. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ Livengood, Chad (June 5, 2012). "U.S. Senate candidate Konetchy fails to get enough petition signatures". The Detroit News. 
  11. ^ a b Schultz, Marisa (October 13, 2011). "Stabenow raises $1.2M since July for her U.S. senate run". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ Cranson, Jeff (March 7, 2011). "Facebook movement begins to draft Justin Amash for U.S. Senate run". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved March 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ WWJ (12 June 2011). "Anuzis: I Won’t Run Against Stabenow". CBS Local Media. 
  14. ^ Oosting, Jonathan (June 20, 2011). "It's a no: Detroit media personality Frank Beckmann will not challenge Debbie Stabenow". MLive.com. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  15. ^ Richardson, Darcy (June 4, 2011). "Frank Beckmann for U.S. Senate?". Uncovered Politics. 
  16. ^ Bouffard, Karen (January 27, 2012). "Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger to seek re-election". The Detroit News. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  17. ^ Demas, Susan J. (January 12, 2010). "Mike Cox won't run against Debbie Stabenow". Mlive.com. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Chad Dewey for State Representative – 2012: Taking a new direction". Chaddewey.org. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  19. ^ Catanese, David (December 13, 2010). "Engler not considering Senate bid". Politico. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  20. ^ Toeplitz, Shira (May 5, 2011). "Land Declines to Challenge Stabenow in Michigan". Roll Call Politics. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  21. ^ Catanese, David (May 14, 2011). "McCotter ends the 'Hamlet' act". Politico. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  22. ^ Oosting, Jonathan (26 July 2011). "John McCulloch to drop Senate bid, join Oakland County leaders endorsing Pete Hoekstra". MLive Media Group. 
  23. ^ Toeplitz, Shira (May 9, 2011). "GOP Still Searching for Senate Candidate in Michigan". Roll Call Politics. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  24. ^ Hurst, Nathan (August 3, 2011). "Steele declines Senate run". The Detroit News. 
  25. ^ "Wolverine Attacks, on the Hunt for Ballots". The Wall Street Journal. 28 July 2011. 
  26. ^ Hoekstra, Pete (February 5, 2012). "Pete Hoekstra racially insensitive Super Bowl ad". HOEKSTRA FOR SENATE. 
  27. ^ a b Gray, Kathleen (February 6, 2012). "With videos: Pete Hoekstra Super Bowl ad slammed". Detroit Free Press. 
  28. ^ YACCINO, STEVEN; JONATHAN WEISMAN (February 6, 2012). "Ad Draws Protests for Portrayal of Asians". The New York Times. 
  29. ^ Fallows, James (February 6, 2012). "This Is So Classy: 'Yellow Girl'". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  30. ^ Hoffman, Kathy Barks (February 7, 2012). "Lansing Hoekstra's broken English as draws more criticism". Detroit Legal News. 
  31. ^ Fallows, James (February 5, 2012). "Superbowl Special! My Nominee for Most Revolting Ad". The Atlantic. 
  32. ^ "Pete Hoekstra's Super Bowl Ad is a Super Flop (NAACP release)". PR Newswire. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  33. ^ Barks Hoffman, Kathy (February 6, 2012). "Critics worry Senate ad will revive Asian-bashing". Associated Press. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  34. ^ Jensen, Tom (February 14, 2012). "Stabenow Leads By Double Digits in Michigan Senate Race". Public Policy Polling. 
  35. ^ Sobel, Julie. Stabenow Has Record $1.5 Million Quarter. National Journal, 4 April 2012.
  36. ^ McAuliff, Michael Pete Hoekstra Fundraising Drops After Offensive Super Bowl Ad. Huffington Post, 13 April 2012.
  37. ^ Skubick, Tim (August 8, 2012). "Tim Skubick: Pete Hoekstra's awful Super Bowl ad, amazingly, helped him to victory in GOP U.S. Senate race". MLive Media Group. 
  38. ^ Johnson, Ruth (August 27, 2012). "Election Results PRIMARY ELECTION". MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 
  39. ^ FEC (January 1, 2013). "2012 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Michigan (All Senate Candidates -- MI)". Federal Election Commission. 
  40. ^ "Top Contributors (2012 Race: Michigan Senate)". Center for Responsive Politics. January 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Top Industries (2012 Race: Michigan Senate)". Center for Responsive Politics. January 1, 2013. 
  42. ^ Bravender, Robin; Wong, Scott (November 19, 2010). "Stabenow takes Ag gavel". Politico. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  43. ^ Richardson, Darcy (June 4, 2012). "Michigan’s Scotty Boman Captures Libertarian Nod for U.S. Senate". Uncovered Politics. 
  44. ^ LaPietra, John (June 4, 2012). "Green Party of Michigan Nominates Candidates At All Levels of Government". Green Party of Michigan. 
  45. ^ a b Johnson, Ruth (November 5, 2012). "2012 Official Michigan General Candidate Listing". MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 
  46. ^ a b c Web Staff, WXYZ.com (October 11, 2012). "Michigan's U.S. Senate candidates Debbie Stabenow and Pete Hoekstra will not debate". WXYZ: Channel 7 Action News (ABC). 
  47. ^ VanHulle, Lindsay (September 29, 2011). "GOP Senate hopefuls face off at tea party forum in DeWitt". Lansing State Journal. 
  48. ^ "Pete Hoekstra wants 6 debates with Debbie Stabenow". Associated Press. August 17, 2012. 
  49. ^ "2012 Candidates for U.S. Senate". Romeo Area Tea Party. June 23, 2011. 
  50. ^ VanHulle, Lindsay (September 29, 2011). "GOP Senate hopefuls face off at tea party forum in DeWitt". Lansing State Journal. 
  51. ^ GOODELL, ANDREA (January 24, 2012). "Step up to the mic: Crowded Republican field speaks at Tea Party forum". The Holland Sentinel. 
  52. ^ Williams, Candice (January 28, 2012). "Right-to-work focus of GOP Senate debate in Dearborn". The Detroit News. 
  53. ^ a b Johnson, Ruth (November 26, 2012). "Summary Totals: United States Senator 6 Year Term (1) Position". MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 
  54. ^ Hamilton, Marlena (October 24, 2012). "Candidate Forum". WBKB (Fox 11). 
  55. ^ Brown, Kevin (October 19, 2012). "Hoekstra, Benishek, others at Gaylord High candidates forum". Petoskey News. 
  56. ^ a b c Jones, Michael (October 26, 2012). "Meet the Candidates Night a hit for GHS students". Petoskey News. 
  57. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 11, 2012). "Stabenow, Hoekstra campaigns in heated debate over debates". Detroit Free Press. 
  58. ^ Holyfield, Jeff (October 24, 1994). "Rare Five-way Tv Debate Spirited, But Not In-depth". Ludington Daily News. 
  59. ^ Web Staff, WXYZ.com (October 11, 2012). "Michigan's U.S. Senate candidates Debbie Stabenow and Pete Hoekstra will not debate". WXYZ (ABC Channel 7 Action News). 
  60. ^ Kaplan, Doug (October 9, 2012). "Michigan Senate Poll". Gravis Marketing. 
  61. ^ Paulie (October 9, 2012). "Libertarian polls 7% in Michigan U.S. Senate race, clearing hurdle to debate participation". Independent Political Report. 
  62. ^ Martin, Tim (October 11, 2012). "Michigan's U.S. Senate race continuing without formal debates between Stabenow, Hoekstra". MLive Media Group. 
  63. ^ Tower, Mark (October 17, 2012). "Pete Hoekstra coming to Midland for debate without opponent". MLive Media Group. 
  64. ^ Tower, Mark (October 18, 2012). "Hoekstra senate campaign says third-party candidate not invited to one-man debate". MLive Media Group. 
  65. ^ Vande Bunte, Matt (October 22, 2012). "5 topics for Pete Hoekstra-Debbie Stabenow 'debate' in Kent County". MLive Media Group. 
  66. ^ Martin, Tim (October 24, 2012). "No debate, but separate forums for U.S. Senate candidates Stabenow, Hoekstra; watch tonight on public TV". MLive Media Group. 

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites