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Peters expands lead over James in Michigan Senate race

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters has slightly grown his lead over Republican John James in a tight Michigan contest, according to a new statewide poll for The Detroit News-WDIV-TV.

Gary Peters, John James

Peters, a first-term incumbent from Bloomfield Township, led James, a Farmington Hills businessman and Iraq War veteran, 45%-40% in a Glengariff Group survey of 600 likely Michigan voters. The Sept. 30-Oct. 3 survey had a margin of error of plus-minus 4 percentage points.

"I think marginally it looks better for Peters," Glengariff Group's pollster Richard Czuba said. 

The contest has national significance because Democrats hope to retain the seat as they seek to take  control of the Senate from Republicans, who are hoping to pick up the seat in a state where President Donald Trump won in 2016. The GOP now holds a 53-47 majority.

The battle between Peters and James has turned out to be the most expensive Senate race in Michigan history with more than $40 million raised combined through July. 

James is getting more support than President Donald Trump is currently in Michigan after he waged an unexpectedly competitive race against U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, in 2018, when he lost by a smaller-than-anticipated 6.5 percentage points. Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden is leading Trump 48%-39% in the poll.

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lfleming@detroitnews.com