Foster credited Carl Levin with, after hearing her choir sing, arranging for the group to perform at the White House in 2013, when Barack Obama was president. But other voters without a similar personal connection also voiced an allegiance to the dynasty.
Levin, 61, and Stevens, 39, are facing each other in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary after Michigan lost one of its 14 seats to reapportionment. The new 11th District, northwest of Detroit, draws about 30 percent of its population from retiring Rep. Brenda Lawrence’s 14th District, 45 percent from Stevens’ old 11th District and 25 percent from Levin’s old 9th District, according to data compiled by Daily Kos Elections. It backed Joe Biden over Trump by 19 percentage points in 2020, according to Dave’s Redistricting, and the race in November is rated Solid Democratic by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.
Interviews with voters in Farmington, which was part of Stevens’ old district, and in Royal Oak, which was in Levin’s, found people loyal to each incumbent, but some had seized on aspects of the candidates’ records to make their pick.
Stevens has a reputation for being more moderate and friendly to business than Levin, a proponent of “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions and wean the U.S. off fossil fuels. A CQ Roll Call analysis found that they voted alike in the House 97 percent of the time and had identical records of supporting Trump’s position on contested votes just 9 percent of the time in 2019 and 2020.
One issue where they split was on the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement in 2019, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement. Levin opposed it, saying the pact provided “no meaningful way for workers in Mexico to improve their working conditions and bargain collectively, and so there is no incentive for American companies to stop outsourcing.” Stevens applauded the agreement, saying she voted for it because it “positions Michigan’s 11th District to compete globally and succeed.”