Peters, Obama pair up

Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) will appear alongside President Obama when he visits Michigan on Friday, a sign Peters doesn't think the president is as problematic for his Senate campaign as some other swing-state Democrats.

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Peters will join Obama and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, for a ceremony in Lansing to sign the farm bill. Stabenow helped craft the eventual compromise to pass the law after a series of snags on the House side.

"Gary supports the bipartisan farm bill because it invests in Michigan's farmers and agricultural economy, so he'll be with the president and Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow in Lansing when it's signed into law," Peters spokeswoman Haley Morris tells The Hill.

Peters's decision to appear with Obama could have an impact on his race to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

Some other Democrats in swing and red states including Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) have refused to say whether they will appear with Obama at public events between now and Election Day, and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) recently skipped an event Obama was holding in North Carolina, citing a scheduling conflict.

Obama won Michigan by a 10-point margin in 2012, making it a less troublesome state for Democrats to join him than places like Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska, where other Senate Democrats are battling for reelection. But his numbers have slipped in Michigan a bit as they've eroded nationally. While the recent few public polls of Michigan have varied widely, all have found Obama under 50 percent in his approval rating.

But Peters will need strong turnout in the metro Detroit region, his home base, to win — and that means high African-American turnout, which Obama can help with. Drawing attention for his support of the farm bill could also help in a state with a large agricultural community.

Michigan's Senate race is looking increasingly competitive. Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R), Peters's likely opponent, has led in the last three public polls of the race. She also outraised Peters in the last fundraising quarter, though much of her advantage came from a big personal contribution to her campaign.

Morris questioned why Land has yet to say publicly if she would have supported the bill, which passed by a wide bipartisan margin in the Senate.

"While Michiganders know that they can count on Gary as a proven independent voice for middle class families and small businesses, folks deserve to hear why RNC Committeewoman Terri Lynn Land opposes the farm bill, since she hasn't said a word about it," said Peters's spokeswoman. 

Land said in response that she would have voted for the bill.

"I would have voted for the Farm Bill, however I think improvements could have been made to better help family farms, provide healthier and more efficient nutrition assistance to families, and all around be more fiscally responsible," she said in a statement provided by her campaign.