So in the eleventh hour, all the stars aligned (cliché-tyranny warning) for the underdog mom/rancher and her mostly forgotten, no-dough, no-choice-but stealth campaign. While Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg, her two foes in Nebraska’s GOP Senate primary, had been beaten to pulps, courtesy of beaucoup negative ads by Jim DeMint and the Club for Growth, the state senator parlayed a week-to-go poll (showing her a close third, closing fast, with lots of momentum) into a huge Sarah Palin endorsement, into an as-important Congressman Jeff Fortenberry endorsement, into a big final-weekend assist from businessman Joe Ricketts (whose Ending Spending Action Fund ad nuked Bruning), into a not-even-close 10,000-vote win last night.
The result: Fischer 41 percent to Bruning’s 36 percent to poor Stenberg’s 19 percent. An absolutely fascinating finish. Political junkies will find good on-the-scene analysis from Leavenworth Street blog and the Omaha World-Herald. As to what’s ahead — the Fischer v. Bob Kerrey November election – Leavenworth Street opines:
Oh, and we will tell you right now, that of the three, Deb Fischer is the one the Kerrey camp has feared the most. (There have been Democrat operatives literally skipping around with a plan to take down Bruning and enshrine Bob Kerrey. They may have been wrong in the end, but that was absolutely the CW in DC and beyond.)
Deb will still have work ahead of her. She will have to be much more diligent about raising money, though that should also come a bit easier. And she will have to be a quick study on some of the international issues that may come up. But she is not going to be seen as some ultra-partisan who Kerrey thought he was running against. And oh my, but Bob Kerrey has a Congressional voting record to look back at.
But Nebraska Republicans picked a game changer. Get used to the idea of Senator Deb Fischer. (And that’s “Senator” without the “state” in front of it.)