Some good news in MI-01 for republicans. Bart Stupak has a primary race with Connie Saltonstall. With that, the GOP needs to recruit a good candidate for that area, preferably a yooper. Tom Casperson is planning to run for State Senate, but maybe he should give Congress another go with this opening. If not Casperson, perhaps Scott Shackleton.
The pro-abortion left is pumping money into this race. The rich leftists at Huffington Post are going crazy and giving their money to this race. Great. It's win, win for the GOP. Go Connie! For a whole difference reason.
I don't know much about Saltonstall except that she has some election history, and is mad at Stupak for his abortion stance. She was a county commissioner representing the City of Charlevoix. She also ran for the 105th State Rep against incumbent Kevin Elsenheimer. Elsenheimer won overall with 60%. Saltonstall won the City of Charlevoix, Chandler Township, and lost the rest of her home county. She did show strength in Forest Township in Cheboygan County with a tie there, but Elsenheimer won his district easily. It is a Republican leaning district unless one's a blunder machine (like illegally spending county taxpayers money on campaign mailings....) The 105th is possibly the most Republican district that resides in the 1st. Saltonstall did better than most democrats there, but was that due to her campaign, or 08 being a bad year for Republicans.
Apples and Oranges. Why?
1. Different electorate - primary. Right to Life loves Stupak. However, a lot of them lean more republican than they do democrat. Which primary will the pro-life activists vote in? In the August primary, one may vote a Republican ballot or a Democrat ballot. The Republicans and Democrats will both have a gubernatorial primary statewide, and the abortion issue will come up in both parties as Rick Snyder donated tens of thousands to the ballot proposal supporting embryonic research. Andy Dillon has pro-life leanings and Virg Bernero is pro-abortion. Most of the local offices on the yooper side of the bridge lean democrat outside of Chippewa and Mackinac Counties. The troll side is more locally competitive with democrat leaning Alpena, Bay, Ogemaw, and Arenac counties and Republican leaning Otsego, Emmet, and Antrim Counties. The gubernatorial race makes this interesting. Primary voters are more partisan, and will vote for their guys before crossvotes. I've only monkeyed around in one democrat primary (Against Granholm in 02) because usually I have races of my own to vote in
2. Money. Saltonstall has pro-abortion money flying in from the left-roots. She's also from one of the more wealthy areas of the district and can raise more money than most challengers. This will give Stupak some headaches, no matter what the real threat is.
I think this is Stupak's race to lose. He's very popular locally and runs ahead of everybody, especially in the UP. The UP, as well as the sunrise side of the Northern Lower Penninsula, have a lot of social conservative democrats. Pro-life. Pro-gun. Pro-union. The Sheltrown brothers in the SE part of the district. Andy Neumann is pro-gun. The yooper state reps are pro-gun and outside of Prusi in Marquette, I believe they are pro-life. Jim Barcia in Bay City represented part of this area before and he's pro-gun and pro-life.
A large number of the democrats are labor. Corrections officers, retired UAW, Bay City commuters, Alpena, DNR officers, and state workers, along with mining traditions. These aren't your Ann Arbor, California, or even Traverse City democrats. Saltonstall will have to sell to those people, and do so with a Charlevoix address. If I'm running for office in this district, there are four addresses I do not want to be identified with. Charlevoix, Petoskey, Torch Lake, and Harbor Springs. All of them have reputations as wealthy areas with vacation homes. It's not just a yooper vs troll thing, it's inland vs coast. Saltonstall is a native of Charlevoix, so it won't cut against her as much as it would a transplant, but how will that play in the more working class democrat strongholds there like Skidway Lake, Rogers City, Alpena, Standish, and Pinconning?
My money is on Stupak no matter how much money is spent. That said, as a Republican, I won't Saltonstall to win the primary because she will be a much easier general election opponent than Stupak.