Hoekstra Going All Out to Close Gap in Michigan Senate Race

Wednesday, 24 Oct 2012 02:04 PM

By Andra Varin

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Veteran Pete Hoekstra is lagging behind Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the polls, but the Republican challenger says he can still close the double-digit gap in the two weeks before polling day.

According to the latest average of voter polls from RealClearPolitics, Stabenow leads with 51.8 percent support, compared to 38.8 percent for Hoekstra in the race for the Semate from the Wolverine State.

But Hoekstra, who represented western Michigan in the U.S. House from 1993-2011 and was the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, is far from daunted.
Pete Hoekstra (AP Photo)

"All of our indications are that going into the last two weeks that this is a very close race, that this is very much winnable by us and that we are actually building momentum on our side," Hoekstra, 58, said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters, according to The Detroit News.

"We've got the right message," he said.

Hoekstra, who emigrated from the Netherlands with his parents when he was just 3 years old, released a new statewide ad Tuesday titled “This Is America.”

In the 30-second spot, Hoekstra says, “America’s in serious trouble. Obama-Stabenow's policies have given us expensive gas, fewer jobs, a huge national debt, government health care and less take-home pay."

He adds: "But this is America, we don't accept failure. We can do better."

A pro-Hoekstra super PAC, the Hardworking Americans Committee, also launched an ad campaign Tuesday that accuses Stabenow of failing to pay her property taxes while increasing taxes on others.

Last month in an interview with Newsmax, Hoekstra slammed Stabenow as "Michigan's worst senator ever."

Debbie Stabenow (AP Photo)
"Where do her failures start?" he asked. "Is it consistently voting for tax increases? Is it consistently voting for massive new spending? Is it voting for Obamacare? Is it being part of a Senate budget committee that has now not passed a budget for over 1,230 days, more than three years since the Senate last passed a budget?"

A spokesman for Stabenow claimed in The Detroit News that Hoekstra’s negative campaign was one reason voters were turned off by him.

Stabenow, 62, currently is chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. She served in the U.S. House from 1997 to January 2001, when she took her Senate seat. She also spent several years in the Michigan Legislature.

The Democrat has a big advantage over her challenger in the money race. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Stabenow has raised $13.6 million this election cycle, compared to $4.8 million for Hoekstra.

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