Usual caveats: it's early, it's one of a bunch of possible outcomes, it's a Republican pollster (Harper), and so forth. But this is still pretty good news for Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land. And the Republican party in Michigan, because Harper also checked the generic race:
On the generic Senate ballot, Democrats actually lead in the same race by just over one point — well within the poll’s 3 point margin of error. Land’s favorable/unfavorable rating is 32% to 18%, compared to Peters’ 18% to 18%. Only 51 percent of those surveyed said they don’t know enough about Land to form an opinion, compared to 64 percent for Peters.
That gives the Democrat more upside potential. Still, the result demonstrates that Republicans should not overlook the opportunity created by the retirement of six-term Sen. Carl Levin, D — the first open-seat Senate race in Michigan since 1994, when Republican Spence Abraham won. Although Michigan is considered a “Blue” state in presidential races, it has repeatedly elected Republicans to statewide offices in midterm elections.
41/40 D/R, to be precise. The revealed results are here: partisan breakdown is 27R/32D/41I, which is a bit more Republican than was the general consensus of what the Michigan electorate looked like in 2012 (30R/40D/30I). I think that +5D looks more likely than +10D in a midterm election, but I can't immediately find exits for the 2010 elections to cross-check. At any rate, the point here is that Michigan is increasingly looking like a battleground state this year.
This is not good news for Democrats.
Moe Lane (crosspost)