Michigan's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

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U.S. House, Michigan District 1 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek Incumbent 52.1% 130,414
     Democratic Jerry Cannon 45.3% 113,263
     Libertarian Loel Robert Gnadt 1.5% 3,823
     Green Ellis Boal 1.1% 2,631
Total Votes 250,131
Source: Michigan Secretary of State


2012

CongressLogo.png

Michigan's 1st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 5, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Dan Benishek Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Dan Benishek Republican Party
Dan Benishek.JPG

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Lean R[1]

FairVote's Monopoly Politics: Lean R[2]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Lean R[3]


Michigan U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Michigan.png
BattlegroundRace.jpg
The 1st Congressional District of Michigan held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Rep. Dan Benishek (R) defeated Jerry Cannon (D), Loel Gnadt (L) and Ellis Boal (G) in the general election.[4]

Michigan's 1st District experienced a highly contested U.S. House election in 2014. Ballotpedia considered it a battleground race due to close contests in the district's recent election history. In 2012, Rep. Benishek defeated Democrat Gary McDowell by only 0.5 percent, less than 2,000 votes. This was a large improvement for McDowell, who had lost by 11 percent, over 25,000 votes, in 2010. While Benishek appeared to be losing ground in the House, the presidential elections showed a trend in favor of Republicans, with President Barack Obama (D) having won the district by 1.3 percent in 2008, but having lost the district by 8.3 percent in 2012.

Because of the seat's unpredictability, The Washington Post rated Benishek as the fourth most vulnerable incumbent in 2014.[5] The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) took notice of the district as well, adding both candidates to their respective election programs. During the 2014 election cycle, the NRCC spent a total of $304,722 opposing Cannon, while the DCCC spent $584,432 opposing Benishek.[6] Overall, outside groups spent $1,880,688 on the race, including $500,572 from the US Chamber of Commerce and $132,561 from the National Rifle Association (NRA). Groups spent more money attacking Benishek than attacking Cannon, but they also spent $773,841 supporting Benishek, while they spent almost no money supporting Cannon.[6]

Benishek maintained a large advantage in terms of campaign finances, which could have contributed to his success. According to their Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports, over the entire 2014 election cycle, Benishek raised close to $2 million, while Cannon raised slightly under $1 million.

Up until 2010, Michigan's 1st District consistently voted Democratic. A combination of two major factors helped account for the sudden shift in favor of Republicans. First, Benishek took office during the "tea party wave" of 2010.[7] Second, redistricting after the 2010 census most likely altered the partisan makeup of voters to favor Republicans.

Benishek may have had an especially large advantage in 2014, as Republicans across the nation experienced what some called a "GOP wave," increasing their majority in the U.S. House and gaining the majority in the Senate.[8] Many attributed this trend to midterm dissatisfaction and overall low approval ratings of President Barack Obama (D).[9]

Given that veterans made up about 12 percent of the district, Cannon seemed like a natural recruit for the Democrats, as he himself had extensive military experience.[10] Cannon was both a former sheriff and a retired Army Major General, having served in Vietnam and Guantánamo Bay.[11] Nonetheless, Cannon lost ground as the election approached, causing the DCCC to cut $425,000 in ad buys and further decreasing his odds.[12]

Heading into the election, The Cook Political Report, FairVote's Monopoly Politics and Sabato's Crystal Ball all rated the race as "Lean R."[13][14][15]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
April 22, 2014
August 5, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Michigan is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[16][17][18]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters must have registered by June 7, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6, 2014.[19]

See also: Michigan elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Dan Benishek (R), who was first elected in 2010.

Michigan's 1st Congressional District is located in the far northern portion of the state and includes Keweenaw, Houghton, Ontonagon, Gogebie, Baraga, Iron, Dickinson, Marquette, Menominee, Delta, Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce, Chippewa, Mackinac, Presque Isle, Cheboyan, Emmett, Charlevcix, Antrim, Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee, Mason, Kalkaska, Crawford, Oscoda, Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Otsego counties.[20]

Candidates

General election candidates

August 5, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Elections

General election results

The 1st Congressional District of Michigan held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Dan Benishek (R) defeated challengers Jerry Cannon (D), Loel Gnadt (L) and Ellis Boal (G) in the general election.

U.S. House, Michigan District 1 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek Incumbent 52.1% 130,414
     Democratic Jerry Cannon 45.3% 113,263
     Libertarian Loel Robert Gnadt 1.5% 3,823
     Green Ellis Boal 1.1% 2,631
Total Votes 250,131
Source: Michigan Secretary of State

Primary results

U.S. House, Michigan District 1 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek Incumbent 69.7% 49,540
Alan Arcand 30.3% 21,497
Total Votes 71,037
Source: Michigan Secretary of State

Race background

See also: Energy and the 2014 election: the ballots and beyond

The 2012 House race in Michigan's 1st District was close, with Representative Dan Benishek securing his seat by a mere half of a percent. The district was targeted by both the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the PACs responsible for helping Republican and Democratic congressional contenders.[23][24]

Benishek was able to outspend his opponent, and was largely aided in that respect by a large influx of PAC contributions, which were almost single-handedly responsible for the spending gap.[25] Most of the major issues that arose during the race were economic ones, with the two main candidates largely in agreement about other topics.[26]

Benishek's campaign themes

Throughout the election cycle, Benishek emphasized his medical background as a doctor rather than his experience as a legislator. His campaign ads referred to him as "Dr. Dan" or "Dr. Benishek" rather than "Congressman" or "Representative," and they often portrayed him wearing scrubs or a white coat.[27] With how low congressional approval ratings were, distancing himself from politicians could have been a smart tactic.[28][29] The benefit from Benishek's medical experience was also evident when looking at his campaign donors. According to OpenSecrets, the top industry donating to Benishek for the 2014 election was the "Health Professionals" industry, which gave $195,000 to help with his re-election bid.[30]

National Republicans noticed Benishek's improvements as well. According to Roll Call, "national Republicans have labeled him one of their 'most improved' members of the cycle."[10] Benishek remarked that he had learned how to better balance campaigning with congressional work, and he said that being in Congress had taught him about some of the important issues in his district, such as agriculture and veterans affairs. In the 113th Congress, Benishek sat on the Agriculture Committee, the Natural Resources Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. With veterans comprising around 12 percent of the district, Benishek's work on the committee appealed to a large population of voters.[10]

Energy security

Cannon, Benishek's 2014 Democratic opponent, considered energy security a top campaign issue.[31] The candidates sparred over the issue at candidate forums two weeks before the election.[32]

Primary election

Benishek faced opposition in the Republican primary where he defeated challenger Alan Arcand by securing nearly 70 percent of the votes. Cannon ran unopposed in the Democratic primary to face off against Benishek and two other third party candidates in the general election. Green Party candidate Ellis Boal and Libertarian Party candidate Loel Gnadt were the third party candidates in the highly contested election.

Campaign contributions

Dan Benishek

Dan Benishek (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2013$88,651.76$163,051.18$(121,938.73)$129,764.21
July Quarterly[34]July 15, 2013$129,764.21$204,683.35$(74,578.38)$259,869.22
October Quarterly[35]October 15, 2013$259,869.22$332,060.68$(91,766.04)$500,163.86
Year-End[36]January 31, 2014$500,163.86$131,132.89$(55,463.50)$575,833.25
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2014$575,833.25$145,417$(66,766.26)$654,483.99
July Quarterly[38]July 15, 2014$654,483.99$487,326.94$(199,616.48)$942,194.45
Pre-Primary[39]July 24, 2014$942,194.45$30,240.75$(141,732.69)$830,702.51
October Quarterly[40]October 15, 2014$830,702.51$385,833.01$(712,098.26)$504,437.26
Pre-General[41]October 23, 2014$504,437.26$66,548.96$(305,949.34)$265,036.88
Running totals
$1,946,294.76$(1,769,909.68)

Jerry Cannon

Jerry Cannon (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[42]October 15, 2013$0.00$130,389.96$(25,894.63)$104,495.33
Year-End[43]January 31, 2014$104,495.33$162,242.58$(71,805.36)$194,932.55
April Quarterly[44]April 15, 2014$194,932.55$145,670.89$(70,124.03)$270,479.41
July Quarterly[45]July 15, 2014$270,479.41$203,148.49$(100,716.94)$372,910.96
Pre-Primary[46]July 24, 2014$372,910.96$6,281.91$(42,529.87)$336,663.00
October Quarterly[47]October 15, 2014$336,663.00$244,339.84$(411,850.44)$169,152.40
Pre-General[48]October 23, 2014$169,152.40$36,213.04$(148,944.55)$56,420.89
Running totals
$928,286.71$(871,865.82)

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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2012

On November 6, 2012, Dan Benishek (R) won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Gary McDowell, Emily Salvette and Ellis Boal in the general election.

U.S. House, Michigan District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Gary McDowell 47.6% 165,179
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek Incumbent 48.1% 167,060
     Libertarian Emily Salvette 3.1% 10,630
     Green Ellis Boal 1.2% 4,168
Total Votes 347,037
Source: Michigan Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

2010

On November 2, 2010, Dan Benishek won election to the United States House. He defeated Gary McDowell (D), Glenn Wilson (I), Patrick Lambert (U.S. Taxpayers), Keith Shelton (L) and Ellis Boal (G) in the general election.[49]

U.S. House, Michigan District 1 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek 51.9% 120,523
     Democratic Gary McDowell 40.9% 94,824
     Independent Glenn A. Wilson 3.4% 7,847
     U.S. Taxpayers Patrick Lambert 1.8% 4,200
     Libertarian Keith Shelton 1.1% 2,571
     Green Ellis Boal 0.9% 2,072
Total Votes 232,037

See also

External links

References

  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR JULY 26, 2014," accessed July 31, 2014
  2. FairVote's Monopoly Politics, "2014 House Projections," accessed November 19, 2014
  3. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed July 31, 2014
  4. Politico, "2014 Michigan House Election Results," accessed November 19, 2014
  5. The Washington Post, "House Democrats Face Long Odds in 2014," accessed October 8, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 OpenSecrets, "Michigan District 01 Race, Outside Spending," accessed November 19, 2014
  7. Traverse City Record-Eagle, "Benishek hopes to hang onto congressional seat," accessed November 19, 2014
  8. The Washington Post, "Yes, this was a GOP wave election," accessed November 20, 2014
  9. New York Daily News, "Republicans ride wave of anger against Obama to recapture Senate," accessed November 20, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Roll Call, "How ‘Dr. Dan’ Cured His Campaign Woes," accessed November 20, 2014
  11. Roll Call, "Democratic Candidate Says Gitmo Experience Is Not a Liability," accessed November 20, 2014
  12. Roll Call, "House Democrats Cut Ad Buy in Michigan," accessed November 20, 2014
  13. Cook Political Report, "2014 House Race Ratings for JULY 26, 2014," accessed July 31, 2014
  14. FairVote's Monopoly Politics, "2014 House Projections," accessed November 19, 2014
  15. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed July 31, 2014
  16. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  17. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  18. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  19. Michigan Department of State Website, "Registering to Vote: Step 2," accessed January 3, 2014
  20. Michigan Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed August 31, 2012
  21. Arcand for Congress, "Alan Arcand," accessed January 14, 2014
  22. The Washington Post, "DCCC adds nine names to program for top recruits," September 9, 2013
  23. NRCC, "Patriot Program 2012," accessed March 3, 2013
  24. Detroit Free Press, "Red to blue? Democrats target one Michigan soon-to-be district," accessed March 3, 2013
  25. Open Secrets, "2012 Race: Michigan District 01," accessed March 2013
  26. ThePoliticalGuide, "2012 Michigan House Race for District 1 - Candidates, Debates and Primary Results," accessed March 3, 2013
  27. National Journal, "For House Incumbent, 'Doctor' Sounds Better Than 'Congressman'," accessed November 20, 2014
  28. Gallup Politics, "Public Faith in Congress Falls Again, Hits Historic Low," accessed September 15, 2014
  29. Rasmussen Reports, "Congressional Performance," accessed September 12, 2014
  30. OpenSecrets, "Top Industries, 2014 Race: Michigan District 01," accessed November 20, 2014
  31. Jerry Cannon for Congress, "Issues," accessed October 20, 2014
  32. PetoskeyNews.com, "Benishek, Cannon disagree on future of coal in energy generation," accessed October 29, 2014
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek April Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek July Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek Year-End," accessed February 10, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek July Quarterly," accessed November 19, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek Pre-Primary," accessed November 19, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek October Quarterly," accessed November 19, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek Pre-General," accessed November 19, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon Year-End," accessed February 11, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon July Quarterly," accessed November 19, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon Pre-Primary," accessed November 19, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon October Quarterly," accessed November 19, 2014
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon Pre-General," accessed November 19, 2014
  49. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013