ICYMI: Conservative Columnist Nolan Finley: “Fantasy to Think Republicans Could Fill a Michigan Senate Seat”

New columns from conservative Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley and MIRS editor Kyle Melinn highlight the “fantasy” that Republicans can flip Michigan’s open Senate with a “fractious” Republican Party in Michigan plagued by “uncertainty and disarray” that should leave Republicans “rattled.”


The Detroit News: Finley: Will GOP whiff on Senate seat?

By Nolan Finley

May 3, 2023

  • The National Republican Senate Committee said it will aggressively target Michigan in ’24. It’s a nice fantasy to think Republicans could fill a Michigan Senate seat for the first time in nearly a quarter century.
  • But to consider it likely requires a conjuring of an alternate universe to the one we’re living in today. Michigan lacks two of the key ingredients for flipping a Senate seat — a party and a candidate.
  • There is no viable state Republican Party in Michigan that can mobilize in support of a GOP nominee and help with absentee ballot outreach and the get-out-the-vote push. So, the campaign costs borne by the nominee go up considerably.
  • Hopefuls also have no certainty about the make-up of the GOP electorate. Who will vote in the primary? Conservatives who want to check the Democratic push toward socialism, or Trump fanatics who’d rather lose the election than nominate an “establishment” Republican. And if Trump is at the top of the ticket, do Republicans in Michigan have a chance anyway?
  • The uncertainty and disarray explain why no credible Republican has jumped into the race, an odd situation considering that open Senate seats are a once in a generation opportunity.
  • Democrats, meanwhile, are up and running with Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Holly, who very quickly has cleared the field of nearly every other Democrat who might have been expected to run for Senate. And she’s raising money at a phenomenal clip.
  • Republicans won’t be able to beat her with the sort of fringe candidates they stood for major offices in 2022. They’ll need a prospect with high name ID, experience on the campaign trail and who can match her fundraising prowess.

Lansing City Pulse: GOP has more problems than the lack of a quality candidate

By Kyle Melinn

May 4, 2023

  • As mid-Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin grooves a path toward the Democrats’ U.S. Senate nomination next year, it’s only natural to scratch your head and wonder, “Whom do the Republicans have?” Not much of anyone. 
  • Self-funded Republican candidates grow on trees. Republicans should be rattled for other reasons. For starters, why doesn’t anyone in office or recently out of office want to run for one of the most highly sought positions in government?
  • Does he sound like someone who can relate to the hand-to-mouth, working-class, Trumpian grassroots who now run the Michigan Republican Party? Sounds like someone who’s bound to be labeled a “RINO,” to me.
  • Then again, everyone is a RINO in the fractious Republican Party nowadays. When you get down to it, the fact that Republicans don’t have a quality U.S. Senate candidate at this point is the least of their problems. 
  • This is a rudderless ship with a crew that’s turned on each other so many times, it’s hard to even know who is on board. If you’re a Republican, that should have you rattled.


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