GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Republicans here the midterm elections will be “huge” and he believes his fellow Republicans should be able to send “Harry Reid back to minority status, and God willing, all the way back to Nevada” on Nov. 4.
Bush spoke to a small gathering of the GOP faithful Oct. 13 as he began a one-day, statewide campaign swing with Michigan Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land.
The Land campaign bus ride that began in Grand Rapids ended with a $500-a-person campaign event dubbed the “Governor’s Gala,” featuring Bush, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and former Michigan Gov. John Engler.
The Michigan GOP also offered a $5,000 per person private roundtable and photo opportunity with the governors during the Gala in suburban Detroit.
Bush said in Grand Rapids that if Land won the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Carl Levin she would be one more Republican vote against Reid.
Land also assured the party faithful in Grand Rapids that she would do more than be the 51st vote to end Reid’s reign as majority leader of the Senate. She also promised to do her best to “repeal Obamacare and rein in the EPA” if elected.
Ironically, Land’s photo was left off of a montage of GOP candidates in Michigan that was posted over the door through which she and Bush entered the room and walked to the podium.
Her poll numbers have been bad enough to justify exclusion from the photo montage. She has not led a poll against her challenger, Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), since early September.
As Republicans were settling into their seats inside the Detroit Marriott in Troy, Mich., for the Governor’s Gala, Mitchell Research released a survey of likely Michigan voters that showed Peters leading Land by 11 points, 50 percent to 39 percent.
Even though the Michigan Senate race was not one the GOP has been bragging about, Bush told PJ Media he was confident Republicans would take the majority in the U.S. Senate and might even win some governors’ races.
If nothing else, he said, the GOP could always point to President Obama and Harry Reid.
Bush said people are often motivated to vote in midterm elections because they want to send a message to the party in power. That party this time is the Democratic Party, led by Obama, whose approval rating is very low.
“Most Americans, irrespective of their ideology, want problems solved and Republicans are offering tangible solutions,” said Bush. “I am very optimistic.”
It is true that in many states seen as key Senate battlegrounds in the Nov. 4 election there are plenty of people who don’t like the job Obama has done.
For instance, the Oct. 13 Real Clear Politics average of all polls showed 61 percent of Arkansas voters, 59 percent of Kansas voters, and 60 percent of Montana voters disapproved of Obama’s performance in office.
Nationwide, more than 52 percent of voters, according to the Real Clear Politics average, are unhappy with Obama.
But that argument does not work as well in Michigan as it does in some other states where Republicans hope to pick up Senate seats.
A Detroit News survey of voters conducted by Glengariff Group, Inc., which was released Oct. 9, showed a 49 percent to 49 percent split on Obama’s approval rating in Michigan.
The Real Clear politics average in Michigan gives a 3-point edge to those dissatisfied with Obama, 46 percent to 49 percent.
Bush’s optimism for a GOP Senate sweep is also not reflected in the most recent polling data.
As Bush and Land boarded their campaign bus, Real Clear Politics forecast Democrats would win 46 Senate seats, including Michigan, Republicans would win 45 seats, and nine races were still considered to be “toss ups.”
Bush also had some advice for his fellow Republicans when (and if) the GOP has control of the House and the Senate. Bush said Washington should look to states with Republican governors, like Michigan, for a strategy to revitalize America’s economy.
“You have taken a situation (in Michigan) that by far was one of the worst in the country, and you are beginning to see significant job growth, median income increasing and people beginning to believe their children will have more opportunity than what they had,” Bush said.
“The American Renaissance, that I believe we are on the precipice of, has begun here in Michigan.”
The Michigan Democratic Party begged to disagree, issuing a statement following the Bush-Snyder-Land campaign events highlighting the GOP trio’s past opposition to Washington’s bailout (or rescue, depending on party affiliation) of General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
“It comes as little surprise that a Governor who gave $1.8 billion in tax giveaways to corporations and business interests while raising taxes on seniors, and a Republican Senate Candidate who opposes the auto rescue and would have let 4 million jobs disappear, would embrace an opponent of the auto rescue just weeks before Election Day,” said a Michigan Democratic Party spokesman.