Stupak voted with Obama in the end like a good democrat. That's about what I expected out of him. I'm getting a lot of hits from non-Michiganders who are looking up Stupak and want to see a good opponent run against him.
This was my profile of the 1st district
This is the Democrat challenging Stupak in the August primary
Personally, I'd like to see Tom Casperson (running for State Senate) or Scott Shackleton run against him. They are both former state reps who won tough districts in the UP. The 1st district is a very difficult district to win for anybody because it is a large populist regional district where local ties strongly matter. Yoopers prefer yoopers in their voting patterns. Trolls prefer inland trolls to coastal candidates. Natives prefer natives to any "recent" (after high school) transplants. Small town politics dominate this area, in good and bad ways.
It's also a democrat leaning district, but it is a local democrat or conservative democrat leaning district. It's not a John Kerry district. McCain would have won here if he didn't abandon the entire state in a stupid public announcement. This is also 2010 and not 2008. There's a different dynamic here and the Bush fatigue is long past. Bush is gone.
Stupak has dominated this district with over 60% every time. He was held to 58% twice in the only 1990's district which was more Republican. There's a now a chance that Stupak can go down. It won't be easy, but it's possible. Why? He's gone national. That's why. He became a national democrat instead of the Menominee Democrat he is supposed to be.
So who's stepping up to the plate? Three People so far are running.
Don Hooper ran several against Stupak. He's running again.
Linda Goldthorpe ran in the 2008 primary against Casperson. She was on Ron Paul's campaign. She's running again.
Dan Benishek is a Surgeon and running as well. He doesn't have a website up, although he's getting press on blogs like Ed Morrisey's Hot Air. If Benishek wants to take advantage of this, he better get a website up ASAP. UPDATE - Benishek's campaign is working on its website.
All three, and any others that jump in, have an opportunity that was not there in 96, 98, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. There's a big chink in Stupak's armor that was not there right now. He's gone national.
A chance like this against someone as strong as Stupak usually is does not come around very often. It will take hard work, organization, money, and the right candidate. Who has what it takes? That remains to be seen.