Since 2001, Debbie Stabenow has held a senate seat in Michigan, where she had previously been in the House of Representatives since 1979. It’s been a long time since she had any real competition, too. In 2012, she beat Republican Pete Hoekstra by 16 points, and defeated Michael Bouchard by the same margin in 2006. The only time she really had to work for her win was her first run in 2000, when she took on Republican incumbent Spencer Abraham, who she beat by only a point and a half. This year, she’s is remembering what competition is like. This year, she is facing John James.

Polling shows that, from mid to late October, James has cut Stabenow’s lead by more than half, from 16 points to 7. In a statement to Fox News last week, James’ campaign manager Tori Sachs said:

John James is giving 43-year politician Debbie Stabenow the fight of her political life and there is zero question she’ll be running scared these final days.

Jake Davison, the editor of Inside Michigan Politics, told Fox News that Stabenow has been winning simply because of complacency. “She just doesn’t make any mistakes and that is why she wins. She is a machine.” This year, however, James is shaking things up. “He’s a star, an absolute star. He has the base really fired up.” As a Michigander, I can fact-check this as true. Republicans haven’t been this excited about a candidate as long as I can remember. It’s usually been more like “who is the Republican this time?” rather than “What is John James up to?”

Why is that? He brings messages of unity and the American dream to a divided state.

Plus, we’re talking about a guy whose toddler can slam a plate of bacon in no time flat. Those are just good genes.

Michigan Democrats are running scared, and they’re making unforced errors. I cannot get over this tweet by Abdul El-Sayed, who ran an unsuccessful bid at the Democrat candidacy for governor of Michigan.

A little fact-checking might have come in handy, because all that tweet did was tee up this beautiful response:

Ouch.

Vice President Mike Pence will speak at an event for John James in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday to rally the base

Get excited, Michigan. We don’t have early voting, but it’s not too late to get your absentee ballot if you can’t be at the polls on election day.