It's being announced that Stupak changed his mind and will be retiring and not seeking another term. That's good news for Republican chances in that district.
I updated the profile of the 1st district here.
I had another post here after Stupak's vote on health care.
With Stupak out of the way, the chances of a win here increase dramatically, unless the GOP runs a poor candidate, either by ethnics, or geographical weaknesses. This still isn't going to be an easy district due to its size, population density, old traditions, and yooper/troll dynamics which aren't as jokingly when it comes to political representation. Small town politics dominates this district, even more than most areas in Michigan.
It'll be interesting to see who else jumps in with Stupak gone. For the dems, I think Saltonstall's chances are slim to none due to her outspoken pro-abortion stance and her Charlevoix address. I expect an active primary there. There's a strong bench of candidates that have a better shot at the district. Rich Brown or Gary McDowell I think is their best bet. For the GOP, I'd still look for Casperson to try again, or maybe Scott Shackleton who preceded McDowell, although I wouldn't sleep on Benishek who had a good geography and outsider mentality. He'll need some good campaign managers to capitalize on his early boost.
Many national pundits keep mentioning Jason Allen, Michelle McManus, and Jim Barcia. Allen and McManus (secretary of state candidate) are in the 4th District. McManus is from Leelanau County, and Allen from Grand Traverse County. McManus and Allen used to be in the 1st before redistricting. I have strong geographical concerns if they run for the 1st. It will be portrayed "populist UP vs rich Traverse City." I'd love to see Michelle run for the 4th district if Camp retires. That would be a very good matchup for her. Jim Barcia's in the 5th District. Bay City is not in the 1st. Part of rural Bay County is. Barcia was a former congressman, but most of his district was what is now Kildee's or Miller's. Barcia would get clobbered by a yooper GOP'er. "Big Bay City carpetbagger vs North Michigan." I think the odds of a carpetbagger, no matter the reason and no matter how much I personally like the candidate, winning this district in November is about the same as Saltonstall's chances. It would take a lot of luck. I hope Michelle McManus keeps running for secretary of state, as she has a good chance to win that statewide against a Soros nutter like Benson.
It'll be interesting to see.