Lessenberry: High Stakes For Each Party in Michigan Hinge On Decision By Carl Levin

Jon Stewart calls him Grandpa Munster, and behind that quip is the reality that Sen. Carl Levin will be 80 before voters decide who fills his seat in November 2014.

Carl Levin
Sen. Carl Levin
Though it may seem way early to talk about, whether he seeks a seventh term is a critical question for Democrats and Republicans, Michigan Radio commentator Jack Lessenberry says.

He looks and seems much younger [than 78]. . . . But does he want to spend [six more] years on Capitol Hill? By the time his next term would end, he will be 86.

A retirement decision would turn a slam-dunk for Democrats into a free-for-all, the longtime politics analyst notes.

Republicans have lost 12 of the last 13 U.S. Senate elections in this state, and if Carl Levin does run, they are looking at 13 out of 14. 

But if he doesn’t run, you will see an enormous upheaval in Michigan politics. Congressmen in both parties are likely to give up their seats to jump into a primary.

Democrats, who want to use their resources for a major effort against Governor Snyder, will suddenly have two major races. 

While Democrats are all for senior citizens' right to retire with dignity, Lessenberry wryly observes, "they are hoping and praying that’s a right Carl Levin doesn't choose to exercise … at least not quite yet."

Read more:  Michigan Radio
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