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Michigan's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

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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
The 1st congressional district of Michigan will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.

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.[4][5][6]

Heading into the election the incumbent is 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.[7]

Race Background

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[8] and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee[9], the PACs responsible for helping Republican and Democratic congressional contenders respectively. Benishek was able to outspend his opponent, and was largely aided in that respect by a large influx of PAC contributions, which were almost singlehandedly responsible for the spending gap.[10] Most of the major issues that arose during the race were economic ones, with the two main candidates largely in agreement about other topics. [11]

Campaign ads

Ad campaign on climate change

League of Conservation Voters ad released August 12, 2013, against Mike Coffman, "Ostrich Ad"

The League of Conservation Voters launched a nearly $2 million TV ad campaign on climate change on August 12, 2013, aimed at three House Republicans -- Mike Coffman (R-CO), Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) -- and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).[12]

“This is the African Ostrich,” says the narrator of the ad running in the district of Mike Coffman. “Tall, flightless, head in the sand. And this is Congressman Coffman, also with his head in the sand — on climate change.”[12] The ad goes on to call Coffman “extreme.”[12] Democrats are targeting Coffman’s 6th district seat, and have recruited former state house Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) for the race.[12]

The group launched similar ads against Dan Benishek and Rodney Davis, who Democrats are also eyeing. The entire ad campaign cost nearly $2 million, the organization said.[12]

The group is also hitting Ron Johnson, who does not face re-election until 2016. The group said it would release video of the Johnson commercial by August 16, 2013.[12]


Note: Prior to the signature filing deadline, candidates will be added when Ballotpedia writers come across declared candidates. If you see a name of a candidate who is missing, please email us and we will add that name. As the election draws closer, more information will be added to this page.General election candidates

August 5, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

District history


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"


On November 2, 2010, Benishek won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Gary McDowell (D), Keith Shelton (L), Patrick Lambert (U.S. Taxpayers'), Ellis Boal (G), and Glenn A. Wilson (I) in the general election.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan's 1st Congressional District, 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
     Libertarian Keith Shelton 1.1% 2,571
     U.S. Taxpayers' Patrick Lambert 1.8% 4,200
     Green Ellis Boal 0.9% 2,072
     Independent Glenn A. Wilson 3.4% 7,847
Total Votes 232,037

See also

External links


  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. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  6. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  7. Michigan Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed August 31, 2012
  8. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  9. "Red to blue? Democrats target one Michigan soon-to-be district" March 2013]
  10. Open Secrets "2012 Race: Michigan District 01" Accessed March 2013
  11. ThePoliticalGuide "2012 Michigan House Race for District 1 - Candidates, Debates and Primary Results
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Washington Post, "Environmental group launches $2 million ad campaign on climate change," accessed August 12, 2013
  13. Arcand for Congress, "Alan Arcand," accessed January 14, 2014
  14. The Washington Post, "DCCC adds nine names to program for top recruits," September 9, 2013
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010" Accessed December 1, 2011