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Michigan 3rd District - Amash vs. Pestka

Candidates

Justin Amash

Justin Amash (R)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Steve Pestka

Steve Pestka (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Michigan Snapshot

RCP Ranking: Likely GOP
2012 Key Races:
Pres | Sen | MI-1 | MI-11

----------PAST KEY RACES----------


2010
: Governor | MI-1 | MI-7 | MI-9 | MI-15
2008: President | MI-7 | MI-9
2006: Senate | Governor
2004: President

Polling Data

PollDateSampleAmash (R)Pestka (D)Spread
Final Results----52.644.2Amash +8.4
Glengariff Group (R)10/17 - 10/18400 LV3435Pestka +1

Race Analysis

Western Michigan has long been a Republican stronghold, and little has changed in the past few years.  The Grand Rapids-based 3rd District -- a lineal descendent of the district represented in Congress by Gerald Ford -- continues to have a strong Republican tilt, having elected only one Democrat in the past 100 years (and that was for a single term).

But the current occupant of the seat, Justin Amash, may be too conservative even for the 3rd.  As a young, brash member of the Michigan House of Representative, he carved out a reputation as a staunch conservative.  In the House, he's drawn comparisons to Ron Paul.

His opponent this time is former Judge Steve Pestka, who is attempting to run a race based on local issues and portraying Amash as an extremist.  The problem is that this district is still fairly conservative at its core, and is probably more receptive to a candidate like Amash than even a moderate Democrat.  In a bad GOP year, Amash would probably be vulnerable, but right now 2012 is looking like a neutral environment.