|Poll||Date||Sample||Peters (D)||Raczkowski (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||49.8||47.2||Peters +2.6|
|EPIC-MRA||10/16 - 10/17||400 LV||48||43||Peters +5|
|Rossman Group (D)||9/13 - 9/13||300 LV||41||45||Raczkowski +4|
|2008: Peters (D) 52%, Knollenberg (R) 43%||2008: Obama (D) 56%, McCain (R) 43%
|2006: Knollenberg (R) 52%, Skinner (D) 46%||2004: Bush (R) 50%, Kerry (D) 49%|
|2004: Knollenberg (R) 58%, Reifman (D) 40%||2000: Bush (R) 52%, Gore (D) 48%|
Michigan’s 9th District, which consists of the inner Detroit suburbs in Oakland County, is a poster child for the GOP’s difficulty holding northern suburbs in the past twenty years, as well as the dangers of redistricting. Congressman Joe Knollenberg represented a safe GOP district in western Oakland County that gave George H.W. Bush 65 percent of the vote in 1988, and 47 percent in 1992. It hadn’t elected a Democrat since it was created in 1932.
But the suburbs moved away from the Republicans, and by the end of the decade Al Gore carried the district with about the same share of the vote that he received nationally. Republicans were determined to erase the Democrats’ numeric edge in the Michigan congressional delegation, and so did little to shore up Knollenberg, whose new district had given Bush only a four-point edge in 2000. That grew to a nine-point margin in 2004, but in 2008, the district gave Obama a 53-46 win, as northern suburbs continued to move against the GOP. Knollenberg simply couldn’t withstand the wave and lost to state Senator Gary Peters by a solid 52-43 margin.
Now it is Peters’ turn to run in an unfavorable environment. Peters has voted for almost every major piece of legislation pushed in the 111th Congress; his only deviation was the jobs bill at the tail end of 2009. This year, he will face former state Representative Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, who has proven to be an able fundraiser. Still, Peters can point to a solid win in ’08 against an entrenched incumbent as a factor in his favor.