WASHINGTON (Detroit Free Press) - Former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer's entry into the Michigan governor's race has convinced at least one political handicapper to move next year's campaign to the "toss up" category.
Writing for Washington, D.C's Roll Call publication, Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report said today that Schauer's joining the race has had the effect of "rejuvenating Democratic hopes of defeating GOP Gov. Rick Snyder" next year.
Schauer, a Battle Creek Democrat, won the single-term in Congress he served by beating U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, 49%-46% in 2008, which was a Democratic year nationwide. Two years later, when Republicans were on ascent, Walberg, R-Tipton, beat Schauer in a rematch 50%-45%.
That race in 2010 attracted more money from outside the district - more than $9-million - than any other U.S. House race in the country.
Gonzales said that despite the 2010 loss, "Schauer should give Democrats a credible candidate to take on the governor," noting that Snyder's first-term may have made him vulnerable despite an easy win three years ago.
The race was moved from the "toss up/tilt Republican" category to "pure tossup."
The Cook Political Report, another political handicapping site in Washington, has also moved to race to its "toss up" category.
By Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press Washington bureau