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May 16, 2012

I Hope Nebraska GOP Primary Voters Know What They Are Doing Nominating Deb Fischer For US Senate

This isn't a double post of CAC's election night coverage. It's the morning after, "what the hell did they just do?" story.

Last night a little know state Senator knocked off two other candidates to win the right to take on Bob Kerrey for Nebraska's open Senate seat this November.

Ms. Fischer beat state Attorney General Jon Bruning, who had long been the front-runner, by 41% to 36% with all precincts reporting. Mr. Bruning had won statewide election three times before and raised far more money than Ms. Fischer.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Ms. Fischer last week, and a political action committee backed by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts spent $200,000 over the weekend on ads criticizing Mr. Bruning and promoting Ms. Fischer.

The result was a setback for powerful conservative groups that backed the third major candidate in the race, state treasurer Don Stenberg.

Mr. Stenberg, who had 19% of the vote, positioned himself as the tea party-style challenger to Mr. Bruning. He benefited from roughly $2 million spent on his behalf by Club For Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund and FreedomWorks, but he faded at the end.

I'm not even going to pretend to know enough about Fischer but I hope we aren't in Angle, O'Donnell, Paladino territory here. She seems to have the positions you'd expect for a tea party type. The question is, did she receive enough attention in a campaign that seemed to focus on the other two candidates. Can she stand up in a one on one fight against a well known and experienced guy like Kerrey?

Two years ago tea party candidates (like some "establishment" ones) were hit and miss. I was hoping that the Richard Mourdock would be more the model this time around but I guess not in every case.

Fischer might well be the greatest thing since sliced bread and Nebraska might be so in the bag it doesn't matter. Still, we did learn that inexperienced candidates can say the darnedest things and blow up. Let's hope that's not the case here and Nebraska GOP voters do know exactly what they are doing.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:21 PM

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