So why did Hoekstra decide to run against Stabenow after all?
Two words: Debt ceiling. Republicans think they're winning on the issue and will be able to club President Obama and Democrats with the issue next year. So suddenly, a seat that looked out of reach for the GOP seems within striking distance.
It's impossible to say how this will turn out, especially if Congress blows past the deadline and the economy tanks. But right now, Republicans are betting they come out ahead, regardless of the outcome.
The Hill reports that even though Hoekstra is not a great fundraiser, "Stabenow could have a tough race on her hands."