Amash Ahead

by Jason L Rliey, The Wall Street Journal  |  published on June 20, 2014

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The press has spent a lot of time focused on tea party challenges to the Republican establishment. But the reverse scenario is playing out in a House race in Michigan.

Justin Amash, a congressman from Grand Rapids who was first elected in 2010 with tea party support, is being primaried by Brian Ellis, a financial consultant who has the backing of west Michigan’s business community. The election isn’t until Aug. 5, but the latest poll by the Detroit Free Press shows that Mr. Ellis has his work cut out. Not only is the incumbent leading, 55 percent to 35 percent, but 64 percent of primary voters have a favorable view of Mr. Amash, while just 40 percent have a favorable view of Mr. Ellis.

Not that Mr. Ellis should be written off. “Typically, such a margin would virtually guarantee defeat in the case of a challenge to an incumbent politician,” said the paper. “But, as the Free Press reported previously, Amash made some powerful enemies. Over the last week, Ellis compiled a list of endorsements from some of the most powerful Republican groups in the state, such as Right to Life of Michigan, the state Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Farm Bureau.” The poll was conducted before all of the endorsements were announced.

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