Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) leads her most likely Republican opponent by double digits and is within sight of safe territory, according to unreleased crosstabs of a nonpartisan Marketing Resource Group poll obtained by The Hill.
When matched against GOP front-runner and former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), Stabenow leads by 50 percent to 35.
While Hoekstra is less known in the state and his numbers are likely to rise, the 50 percent threshold is the general rule of thumb for whether an incumbent is safe heading into reelection. The poll numbers indicate that while the two-term incumbent could still be vulnerable in the Democratic-leaning state, at this point she is in a fairly strong position to be reelected.
Earlier information released in the poll showed Hoekstra up big in the Republican primary over Detroit charter schools founder Clark Durant, 51 percent to 3. Durant officially entered the GOP race late last week.
In the presidential race, Mitt Romney led the GOP field with 40 percent to Rick Perry's 17, and was tied with President Obama at 44 percent in the general election.
The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted from Sept. 14-19 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.