Gary Peters

Susan J. Demas: Can Democrats take back the U.S. Senate in 2016?

Last year, Michigan's own Gary Peters became the only freshman Democratic U.S. senator.
He managed to buck the red tide, running a smart campaign against Republican Terri Lynn Land, who turned out to be a startlingly weak opponent.

Aside from Peters' win, 2014 was a bloodbath for the Dems, who lost big races in Iowa, Colorado, Arkansas and Louisiana. That flipped the chamber for the first time since 2006 to the GOP, 54-46. Things were so grim for the D's that they came perilously close to losing their Virginia seat, which no one thought was up for grabs.

So Democrats are naturally relieved that the 2016 landscape is looking considerably better, with the GOP defending 24 seats.

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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: 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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