Stabenow has huge lead in polls heading into Tuesday

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow , D-Mich., appears to be a lock to be re-elected for her third six-year term, according to a poll released last week.

The poll, conducted by the firm EPIC-MRA for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV, finds Stabenow beating her Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra by 21 percent, 54 percent to 33 percent. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.

Multiple factors are working in Stabenow's favor heading into Tuesday's election, including a money advantage and high favorability ratings.

As of their latest financial disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission in mid-October, Stabenow has raised nearly three times as much in donations as Hoekstra has. Stabenow has raised more than $14.3 million, compared to the roughly $5.3 million her challenger has raised.

“Hoekstra has never had the money to introduce himself to Michigan voters,” EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn told the Free Press.

The poll found very-high name recognition and personal favorability rates for Stabenow, who has served as a U.S. Senator since 2001.

Only 1 percent of Michigan voters have not heard of the incumbent, compared to 6 percent who have not yet heard of Hoekstra. Meanwhile, 54 percent of voters have a favorable impression of Stabenow, while only 34 percent feel the same way about Hoekstra.

Stabenow is running away with independent voters, 56 percent to 20 percent, and has peeled 11 percent of the Republican vote away from the former U.S. representative. In comparison, Hoekstra has the vote of 3 percent of self-identified Democrats.

Similarly, liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling released a poll over the weekend showing Stabenow with a 13-point lead over Hoekstra. PPP pollsters found that Hoekstra's favorability rating, which stands at 36 percent of likely voters compared to a 41 percent of voters having a negative opinion of him, fell after his controversial Super Bowl ad. Stabenow holds a 49 percent favorability rating and 38 percent unfavorable rating.

According to Real Clear Politics, the last five Michigan U.S. Senate polls all find Hoekstra falling behind Stabenow by double digits. The website's polling average finds Stabenow ahead by an average of 15.6 percent, as of Nov. 2.


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