Terri Lynn Land, the Republican Senate candidate in Michigan, put out one of the best television spots of the cycle back in April. Called “Really?” the 30-second ad was a clever and funny push back on Democrats‘ efforts to paint Republicans as out of touch with women.
The ad caught the attention of conservative columnist, George Will, who wrote that Land represented the GOP’s best tool in fighting against the “war on women” rhetoric. Land, Michigan’s former secretary of state, is part of cadre of Republican women running for Senate who have Democrats a bit nervous in contests that should be easy pickings.
So how is Land doing so far? It’s still early, but there are some indicators that give a sense of the shape of this race.
A new NBC/Marist poll shows Land with trailing Rep. Gary Peters, the Democratic Senate nominee, by six points, with some 19 percent of voters still undecided. Back in April, the gap was about 3 points, with Peters ahead. Since April, Land hasn’t been able to move the needle beyond about 37 percent of the vote. And what accounts for this gap? Gender. According to the poll, Peters beats Land among women by 13 points, 46 to 33 points.
The good news for Land is that she is outpacing Peters in the fundraising race. Between April and June she raised nearly $2.2 million to Peters’ $1.96 million. Add to that total Land’s own net worth, estimated at $32.8 million, making her the richest Senate candidate running this cycle. That’s a lot of money that can be used to buy up a lot of air time as Land looks to try to figure out a way to close the gender gap in a blue state. History suggests she will have an uphill climb, but with her bank account and name recognition, she stands as good a chance as any candidate in helping the GOP fix its gender gap problem.
UPDATE: Brook Hougesen, press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent She The People this email:
“Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land held leads over Democratic Congressman Gary Peters in seven out of the thirteen public polls conducted in 2014 (conducted since the race earned Toss Up rating in Cook). This is a tossup race and Gary Peters has been out raised by Terri Lynn Land in each of the last four quarters.”
UPDATE: Tweet from the Peters campaign: