Dexter, Michigan is a very small town in rural Washtenaw, County. It feels a long ways away from the cultural hub of the county, Ann Arbor, and though it has become somewhat overrun by traffic in recent decades, the town tries to keep a small town flavor. There’s also a strong religious and conservative streak as well.
Dexter is one part of Michigan’s 7th Congressional District that’s nearest to Detroit, yet it is by no means a strongly Democratic voting are. The same holds true for most of the District; it had voted for Republican Tim Walberg in 2006 50 percent to Sharon Renier’s 46 percent; in fact, the district had been favoring Republican candidates until Mark Schauer was swept into office on President Obama’s coattails in 2008, winning by a mere 49 percent to 46 percent. Walberg is back to reclaim his seat, and with a Republican favored to win the Governorship and no love lost between independents and President Obama’s administration, Schauer is facing a seriously uphill battle.
According to FiveThirtyEight on the New York Times, there’s a 78 percent chance the incumbent will lose his re-election bid, though the Times itself is still calling the race a toss-up.
To make matters worse, Walberg’s funding issues are starting to close the gap on the incumbent. According to The Hill, the National Republican Congressional Committee is dropping $350,000 in advertising spending for the district. While Jackson and Battle Creek are sizeable cities, the overall population isn’t that large, so every advertising dollar will count in this race. However, according to OpenSecrets.org, Schauer has the financial advantage. He still controls $1,652,609 in funding, while Walberg reports having $244,214 to spend on his campaign.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Schauer pulling off another victory. 2008 was a banner year for Democrats; no one is saying the same thing about 2010. Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and consequently voters are taking the economic situation out on politicians. And who knows- maybe the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans alike, don’t deserve to stay in office. However things shake out, the closing days of the race promise to be an interesting one to watch, as any good rematch tends to be, especially when the candidates have a lot of money to spare.