06/11/2013 02:30 pm ET

Justin Amash, Michigan Rep., Would Lose To '@LOLGOP' Twitter Handle In Senate Race: Poll


Michigan Rep. Justin Amash might want to think twice about campaigning for the state's vacant Senate seat next year -- a new poll shows the Republican would lose the seat in a head-to-head match-up with a Twitter handle.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the results of a new poll Monday that surveyed Michigan voters on Republican and Democrat presidential canddiates and background checks for gun control. The Democratic firm, which says it didn't prepare the results for any candidate or political organization, surveyed 697 Michigan voters over telephone from May 30 to June 2, and included an oversample of an additional 334 Republican primary voters.

They also asked voters who they'd rather elect to Senate: Justin Amash, a representative from West Michigan's Cascade Twp., or @LOLGOP, a satirical Twitter account based out of Ann Arbor, which describes its mission as "Live tweeting the GOP's painfully slow demise as a national party."

Amash is part of a "maverick caucus in the House, often voting against their party from a libertarian/tea party angle," according to the Washington Post.

Along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Amash recently Tweeted that he is considering a class-action lawsuit against the NSA and FBI regarding the agencies' surveillance programs.

Of those who responded, 23 percent said they'd elect @LOLGOP, while 22 percent went with Rep. Amash. The remaining 55 percent of possible voters said they were undecided.

@LOLGOP said Amash's vote against Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare budget because it wouldn't balance the budget until 2040 will keep him from ever being elected to Senate in the Wolverine state. Ryan's budget included $5.4 trillion in cuts over the next decade.

"It is perhaps a sign of how dim GOP prospects in national elections are in Michigan that one of the party's leading potential candidates for the Senate next year would trail in a hypothetical match up with a twitter handle," wrote PPP in an accompanying statement. "That sort of climate for Republicans may be why it's been hard to get top tier candidates into the race for the open Senate seat there next year."

The imminent retirement of Sen. Carl Levin (D.) opens up a seat in Michigan, which hasn't elected a Republican to the Senate since Spence Abraham in 1994. On the left, candidate and current Rep. Gary Peters is leading 41 to 36 percent in a recent poll against Teri Lyn Land, a Republican and former Michigan Secretary of State, as well as the first GOP candidate to enter the race.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R), who has weighed making a Senate bid of his own, said recently that it would be difficult to chair the House Armed Services Committee while campaigning for a statewide seat. A recent post by Tim Alberta in the National Journal cast even more doubt on the idea of Rogers casting off his powerful House seat to run for Senate, noting, "to everyone around Rogers -- and probably to the lawmaker himself -- the move just doesn’t add up."

That creates a possible opening for Amash, who tweeted in May: "Huge long-term harm to #MIGOP if we put up unelectable anti-liberty, pro-corp welfare #MISEN candidate. I won't let that happen w/o a fight.”

Looks like he got that fight.

The PPP poll didn't just cover politics. In a nod to the Michigan respondents, they asked voters this question -- if it sounds familiar, readers may have heard in the intro to Detroit rapper Eminem's "Lose Yourself," filmed for the movie "8 Mile."

Q: If you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?

While 60 percent of Michigan voters say they would capture it, 7 percent say they would let it slip. And 34 percent are still unsure, though not the person behind the @LOLGOP account.

(Both the villain in Eminem's "8 Mile" and Mitt Romney attended Cranbrook, a tony Michigan private school.)

Hat tip: Eclectablog

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