Debbie Stabenow's taken her biggest lead yet in 4 polls of the Michigan Senate race PPP has conducted dating back to December of 2010. She now leads Pete Hoekstra by 14 points, 51-37, and has an even wider 17 point advantage over Clark Durant at 50-33. In 3 previous polls Stabenow led Hoekstra by an average of just 7 points and on the most recent one, in July, her lead was 9.
What's interesting is that Stabenow's approval numbers have barely budged at all over the last 6 months. Over the summer we found her at 46/40, and now she's at 47/41. But Hoekstra's numbers have taken a turn for the worst. In July his favorability was narrowly positive at 31/30. Now he's dropped a net 11 points to a -10 spread at 28/38. There hasn't been a big shift in his numbers with Democrats or Republicans but with independents his numbers have flipped from +10 (33/23) to -10 (29/39).
Hoekstra appears to have been damaged by his controversial Super Bowl ad. 54% of voters in the state were familiar with it, and within that group 45% said it made them less likely to vote for him compared to only 16% who considered it a positive and 37% who said it didn't make a difference to them either way. Independents said they were turned off by it and he's gone from leading with them by 6 points in July to now trailing by 4 points.
Stabenow's numbers aren't awe inspiring. A 47/41 spread is about middle of the pack for our polling on Senators and she's under water with independents at 40/47. But with Hoekstra making self inflicted errors and things looking up for Obama in the state she finds herself in the best position she's been in quite a while.
Full results here