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Republican Senatorial candidate John James is being billed as a celebrity not only in Michigan, where he closed a huge gap in 2018 running against Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) to a six-point loss, but across the country where he has been raising big bucks for his run against Senator Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township) in 2020. Disciples of the Farmington Hills businessman and combat veteran, such as former state Sen. Randy Richardville (R-Monroe), describe James as a charismatic and religious man who is called to serve. But recent polling numbers by Ed Sarpolus of Target Insyght indicate James might have to wait. As of the end of September, Peters was up statewide, 53 percent to 37 percent, with a 3.1 percent margin of error. James, who we have been told was treated like “a rock star” when he arrived on Mackinac Island for the Michigan GOP Party Leadership Conference, as was keynote speaker Vice President Mike Pence, has been trying to erase his “2000 percent support for President Trump” in 2018, scrubbing his social media clean, but Democrats have no intention of letting him or voters forget. The Michigan Democratic Party sent out an email that “Politico recently described Trump as James' number one ally,” and James did attend a fundraiser in Florida with a top member of Trump's finance team. Whether official pollsters, Richardville or Republican leadership, all privately note that Trump will be a drag on Michigan Republicans next year.


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