Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak's (D) distinction as the man who secured passage of health care reform for Democrats could make him a national target of Republican
and conservative interests. He now has a Republican challenger, who in about 24
hours since Stupak cut a deal with the White House -- giving Democrats the
necessary number of votes -- has gotten a lot more well known.
Dan Benishek, a surgeon who announced his candidacy one week ago, went from about 3,500 Facebook friends Sunday afternoon to 14,500 by mid-Monday. Benishek has also received mentions from a few well-known conservative bloggers, including Michelle Malkin who linked to his makeshift campaign Web site.
This is a race to watch. Stupak is entering his tenth race in his district. He usually wins by a lot more than his party in his district. Obama split with McCain here in 2008 but Stupak gained 65% in the same election.
The Democrats were weary of having a close vote and having their rank and file being accused of being the vote that put health care reform over the top. It appears that Stupak has become that guy because it was his coalition that put the Dems over the top.
If this becomes a race, the Democrats are going to see things get really ugly. If not, then maybe all the excitement is a bit premature.