Michigan Republicans are doing without a key supporter in 2012. The right-leaning Michigan Farm Bureau is endorsing Democrat Debbie Stabenow for another U.S. Senate term.
'Inside Michigan Politics' editor Bill Ballenger says the Lansing native has made a strong connection with the state's agricultural community.
"It doesn't get any better than this for a Democrat, particularly with her voting record and history," he says. "She has really worked the farming community for a couple of years and it's paid off. And for Pete Hoekstra, the Republican, not to get this endorsement is really kind of an incredible thing."
Some political analysts say the endorsement reflects the organization's approval of her work on the federal farm bill and as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Attempts to reach the Hoekstra campaign for response were not successful.