Congressman Gary Peters, who is locked in a virtual tie in the race for an open Michigan Senate set, is spending at least $1 million for primetime exposure that begins on a night Michigan basketball fans – all of them – will be glued to their TV sets.
The first of the Peters’ ads will run during the Michigan State University and Michigan University basketball tilts in the Sweet 16 rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat who currently represents Michigan’s 14th District, is locked in a dead heat with his presumptive Republican opponent, former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land for the seat that U.S. Sen. Carl Levin is vacating.
The Lansing polling company sampled 600 likely voters the week of Feb. 11-14. If Land wins, she will be the first Michigan Republican elected to the U.S. Senate since Spencer Abraham’s 1994 election.
Peters’ ads will costing at least $1 million– his campaign said only the cost was “severn figures” and – will offer biographical sketches introducing the congressman to a larger Michigan audience, establishing his Michigan roots, portraying him as a “typical Michigan guy raised in a middle class home” and emphasizing that he is “an independent voice” who has voted against his own party.
Peters’ vote with Democrats on the Affordable Care Act is already attracting outside money.
He was among the Senate candidates targeted earlier this year in the Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity’s $30 million ad buy, in which Dexter, MI, cancer patient Julie Boonstra warned “I will die” because the health-insurance plan she bought on the Obamacare health insurance exchange put the cost of her treatment and medication out of reach.
Boonstra’s claims in the ad were later called into question by independent fact checkers, who determined she was actually saving money.
The ads will air during the Michigan Wolverines v. Tennessee Volunteers game at 6:15 p.m. EDT Friday on CBS, and during the Michigan State Spartans v. Virginia Cavaliers game at 8:57 p.m. EDT Friday on TBS.
They’re expected to run in seven markers for seven weeks.