Susan J. Demas: Big money pours into 2014 Michigan election for winners and losers

People spent $80 million (and counting) on annoying TV ads this election, and all I got was this lousy headache.

Yes, almost $48 million was plunked down for ads for Michigan's gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican Rick Snyder and Democrat Mark Schauer.

Not surprisingly, Snyder was helped more ($26.6 million) than Schauer ($21 million).

But both sides recognize this race would be close and spent accordingly. They were proved right (no, a 4-point margin for Snyder does not a mandate make).

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Susan J. Demas: Angry undecided voters, not mythical moderates, will decide 2014 election

Undecided voters are mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore.

A variation of that line was, of course, immortalized by a rumpled newsman played by William Holden in the 1976 classic satire of American media, "Network."

Now as we're less than two weeks away from the 2014 election, anxiety reigns, and swing voters are frustrated. They've been vexed by Obamacare, then ISIS, and now Ebola.

This is bad news for Democrats, as the party that holds the White House usually gets thumped in the sixth year of a president's term. It's certainly looking like the Republicans will take the U.S. Senate.

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Susan J. Demas: Michigan may boast the most boring U.S. Senate race of 2014

Michigan was supposed to be a prime GOP pickup opportunity in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

The seat is open for the first time since 1978, thanks to the retirement of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Detroit), who Republicans always sniffed was way too liberal for Michigan.

But those hopes are fading fast, as the race between Republican Terri Lynn Land and Democrat Gary Peters has been a veritable snoozefest. 

Truth be told, neither Land, a former Secretary of State, nor Peters, a former investment banker, are larger-than-life characters.

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Susan J. Demas: Why is Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder campaigning like Mike Dukakis?

In 2010, Rick Snyder made a national splash with his "One Tough Nerd" campaign slogan.

It was different. It was catchy. It humanized the multimillionaire former computer executive who nobody had heard of.

It's one reason why Snyder was elected Michigan governor in a landslide.

Now up for re-election, Snyder is stressing his smarts again. But he's not being endearing about it. And he's risking alienating voters in a race that's neck-and-neck.

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Susan J. Demas: Why voting next week could be more important than voting in November

Living in Michigan often means enduring winter for five months (six if you're in the U.P.). So a few glorious, sweltering August days makes it all seem worth it.

The sun's lackadaisical return means hitting the road or the beach and (vainly) attempting to forget the polar vortex.

Unfortunately in Michigan, our primary elections hit during these August doldrums. It's been theorized that's why so few people vote in them.

That's too bad – and it's not just because you make the good government gods cry with every unused ballot.

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Susan J. Demas: Open primaries are good for democracy, bad for party bosses and Tea Party

Sarah Palin and right-wing Republicans are calling "shenanigans" over the Mississippi U.S. Senate race this week.

(Full disclosure: Whenever someone uses that hokey phrase, I chuckle and think of the "South Park" episode when third-graders denounced ripoffs at a local carnival). 

Anyway, here's what happened in the Magnolia State, which isn't quite as funny.

Establishment GOP U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran bucked the odds and history after a narrow primary loss to Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel.

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Susan J. Demas: Sorry, Democrats. You're probably going to lose in 2014 no matter what

People agree with Democrats more on issues. Democrats enjoy a slim advantage in voter intentions this year.

And the Republicans' silver bullet, the Obamacare backlash, has waned as up to 27 million have benefited from the law.

So that means Democrats will coast to victory in 2014, right? Nope.

Before I proceed, I'll give my standard disclaimer: With more than five months before Election Day, a lot can change. Also, as a pundit, I'm paid to be wrong.

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Susan J. Demas: Number of Michigan women serving in Congress could more than double

In the year 2014, Congress shouldn't resemble the "He-Man Woman-Haters Club" from "The Little Rascals."

Unfortunately, Michigan has a particular problem in that area.

Women make up 50.9 percent of Michigan's population (and of the state's voters), but they're only 12.5 percent of the congressional delegation.

Currently, there are only two women out of Michigan's 16 members of Congress -- U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-Harrison Twp.).

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