Democratic Sen. Gary Peters won reelection in Michigan, defeating Republican challenger John James in one of the nation’s most competitive Senate races.
Despite Joe Biden’s polling lead in the presidential race through the summer and fall, Michigan developed into one of the most hotly contested Senate battlegrounds, with James running again after outperforming expectations and losing by 7 points in 2018 against Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. James ran even closer in 2020, with the race taking a day to call after the polls closed.
Both parties spent big in the state, with Peters raising roughly $40 million and James raising about $33 million, in addition to tens of millions of dollars pumped in by super PACs and other outside groups.
James, a Black businessman and Iraq War veteran who graduated from West Point, gained ground in the final months heading into November and was a rare Republican Senate candidate who kept fundraising pace with his opponent.
Peters, a first-term senator who previously served in the House of Representatives, was one of two Democrats up for reelection in states President Donald Trump won in 2016. He routinely attacked Trump and James, a supporter of the president, for wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Peters also gained notice this fall for sharing the story of his ex-wife’s abortion as part of an argument in support of abortion rights, a major point of contrast between him and James.
James attacked Peters for being “invisible” and doing nothing during his six years in the Senate.
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