The list of Senate races Republicans expected to win six months ago, but which are suddenly quite competitive, isn’t short. Contests in Indiana, Arizona, North Dakota, and Missouri were seen earlier in the year as easy victories for GOP candidates, and now Democrats are competing very well in each of these races.
But let’s not overlook Nebraska. When incumbent Sen. Ben Nelson (D) announced his retirement, it was seen as one of the year’s easiest pick-up opportunities. As Election Day nears, however, the race pitting former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) and state Sen. Deb Fischer (R) is proving to be far more interesting than predicted.
It’ll get more interesting still later today.
[N]ow comes the news that Kerrey has won the endorsement of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican and a fellow Vietnam veteran.
The Omaha World-Herald wrote: “Hagel’s backing could go a long way with independents. And, it clearly underscores Kerrey’s contention that he is the person in the race who can win Republican and Democratic support. In campaign news, this is huge.”
Over the weekend, the World-Herald published a poll showing Kerrey trailing Fischer by only three points, as compared to a 10-point gap five weeks ago.
How serious is the situation? Karl Rove’s attack operation, American Crossroads, didn’t think it would have to bother with the race in Nebraska, but just this week, it started buying ad time in the hopes of rescuing Fischer.
Odds still favor Fischer – Nebraska has become one of the nation’s most Republican states – but the fact that Rove is having to spend here in the campaign’s closing days suggests an upset is no longer a far-fetched idea.