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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Michigan -- 13

Kilpatrick Safe, For Now

Detroit Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick survived her most difficult competition yet in her bid for re-nomination, scraping by with a lead of just 1,700 votes. The Michigan Democrat, whose son Kwame has run into legal trouble as mayor of the state's largest city, declared victory early this morning.

Kilpatrick took 39% to 36% for former State Rep. Mary Waters, while State Senator Martha Scott took 25% of the vote. In the heavily-Democratic district in which John Kerry took 81% of the vote, winning the Democratic nomination is tantamount to winning in November.

The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Kilpatrick needed to bring in the big guns in the campaign's final days. She hosted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, and overall had spent more than $650,000 through the July 16 pre-primary filing period, compared with just $10,000 raised and spent for Waters.

Still, with such a narrow win, Kilpatrick will have a target on her back in two years, when Waters or Scott could be back to run a serious campaign. If either do, the six-term Kilpatrick will be in big trouble.

MI 13: Kilpatrick In Jeopardy

A new poll suggests Detroit Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick could face serious trouble in her August 5 primary, thanks at least in part to a scandal involving her son, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The survey, conducted by Michigan-based EPIC-MRA from 7/27-28, surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Kilpatrick, State Senator Martha Scott and ex-State Rep. Mary Waters were tested.

General Election Matchup
Kilpatrick........33
Waters...........29
Scott..............24

Her troubles stem largely from the Mayor, whose involvement in a scandal that includes an alleged cover-up of a now-very public affair with his former chief of staff has sent his favorable rating plummeting. Just 22% of voters in the district, which covers about half of Detroit, view Kwame Kilpatrick favorably, while 67% see him unfavorably.

That could explain why Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick's favorable rating is an anemic 45% favorable to 41% unfavorable. Both Scott and Waters have favorable numbers in the mid-40s, while their unfavorables are much lower.