As we move ever closer to the 2018 midterms, all eyes are fixed on House and Senate races.  The need for President Trump to maintain, even expand, the number of seats in both Houses of Congress cannot be overstated, so it’s heartening to see Republican candidate for Senate John James surging in Michigan.

James, a combat veteran and businessman, describes himself as a “conservative Republican” and is seeing a surge not only in support via polling but in donations as money is flowing into his campaign.  While James is still a bit of a long-shot against incumbent Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow who has held that seat since 2000, the recent surge opens the possibility of a stunning—and very welcome—upset.

Michiganders appear to be questioning what she’s done for them lately, a fact the NRSC astutely highlights in an ad aired this summer.

James has narrowed Stabenow’s lead to single digits, an impressive feat on its own given that Stabenow had led James 53-35 in a September 30-October 2 Detroit News-WDIV poll, and he’s also outraising her by two-to-one.

The Washington Examiner reports:

In the Michigan Senate race, Republican nominee John James remains a long shot against Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow. But he’s an especially attractive candidate, and the most recent poll shows him just 9 points behind his overwhelmingly favored opponent.

What’s going on here? Some might point to the fierce battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. But I think the candidate himself is the key here. As a small business owner who illustrates both the history and progress of the American dream, James is also a West Point and Harvard graduate and a combat veteran.

Although he branched into Army aviation as a helicopter pilot, James earned the Ranger infantry tab. Put simply, James is one impressive guy. And while defeating the Democratic incumbent in nominally blue Michigan will be an uphill struggle, James is not nearly as far behind as you’d expect, given the attention his race has gotten.

It’s not just the polling data. Outlining growing GOP confidence in his potential, in the last fundraising cycle, James outraised Stabenow by a 2-to-1 ratio. But James’ big moment will come on Sunday and Monday, when he faces his opponent in two debates. It’s a critical opportunity for a sharp and accomplished candidate to show voters who he is and why he deserves their support.

The upcoming two debates—one Sunday, the second on Monday—between James and Stabenow will provide Michiganders the opportunity to compare James and Stabenow on the issues.

The Detroit News reports:

The race between Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Republican John James will feature back-to-back debates this Sunday and Monday in a contest that has featured a gusher of new money and keen interest from the White House.

The first debate between the two contenders will take place Sunday afternoon in Grand Rapids and the second on Monday at the Detroit Economic Club luncheon. This will be Stabenow’s first debate in more than a decade as she did not have any in her last re-election campaign against former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland.

Stabenow said she’s “looking forward to” the debates.

“I view this as an opportunity for me to talk with voters about the hard work that I’ve been doing on their behalf and the results that I’ve been getting fighting for Michigan everyday,” she said. “My tone will be positive. I get results every single day working across the aisle, and this is an opportunity to really be able to talk about that.”

James said he is relishing the opportunity to debate Stabenow on her record.

“Sen. Stabenow is a 43-year politician who has been paid $4 million from taxpayers and only passed six bills,” he said, a point the campaigns have disputed. “Sen. Stabenow owns a million-dollar home in D.C. and recently said she was ‘unaware’ of the issues facing our veterans. I look forward to talking about my record as a combat veteran and job creator compared to her record as a career politician who is ineffective.”

You can read about James’ stance on various issues here. And you can read Stabenow on various issues here.

In addition to a surge in the polls and in fundraising, James has also attracted the attention of Donald Trump, Jr. and Kid Rock, who will be campaigning with him on October 17th at James’ Protect the American Dream rally.

Speaking about the American Dream, James proudly states that he has lived the American Dream and that his parents gave him “everything but an excuse to fail.”

Watch:

James has released a number of ads that decry the horrible state of affairs in Michigan after decades of Democrat domination, and he’s tired of both parties’ politics-as-usual, a politics that helps the politicians but not the people.

If you don’t know much about James, you may find the following segment interesting. He discusses the support he received from President Trump and from the people of Michigan when he won his GOP primary.

In this segment, James takes aim at—among other important things—Democrats’ use of identity politics as a means of retaining power over the very people they are supposed to be representing, and he underscores this point when he emphasizes the only colors that should matter: “red, white, and blue” Americans.

Watch:

In the following segment, James further articulates his positions, his background, and his goals.

Watch:

He’s also taken to Twitter in support of American Exceptionalism.

James is receiving endorsements and support from a range of key organizations, GOP officials, and politicians.

James may still be a bit of a long shot, but anyone who can go from an 18-point deficit to within single digits of a(n undeservedly) strong incumbent is worth watching . . . and supporting.  If you are so-inclined, you can support James financially via this link.