To say the least, Deb Fischer is gaining ground in Nebraska. Governor Palin endorsed Fischer last Wednesday and by all accounts that generated a significant amount of excitement for her candidacy on the ground in Nebraska. Indeed the endorsement appears to have changed the game to the extent that wealthy businessman Joe Ricketts entered the fray Saturday with a couple timely campaign ads which may have further aided Fischer in her quest for the GOP nomination. Via Omaha.com:
Joe Ricketts, who owns the Chicago Cubs with his family and founder of now-TD Ameritrade, poured $200,000 into the race with a tough television advertisement Saturday that questioned Bruning’s character and business deals, and another ad that praised Deb Fischer.
Bruning may still be the front-runner, but all signs are pointing to a wild finish Tuesday when voters go to the polls and choose the Republican candidate to face likely Democratic nominee Bob Kerrey in the fall election.
The entry of Ricketts into the race came as a surprise to most. For months, Bruning has led in the polls and was seen as nearly unstoppable. However, recent surveys have shown that Bruning was still in the lead but that Fischer, who picked up endorsements last week from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, was gaining ground.
Ricketts clearly believes the race isn’t over.
Indeed. It’s doubtful Ricketts would have ponied up that kind of money if he didn’t believe Fischer had a legitimate shot, and Governor Palin’s endorsement last week gave her the boost she needed to put the race in play. We Ask America, a pollster, conducted a survey yesterday to see how the race was evolving given the events of the past week:
Last week it looked like Nebraska Republican Attorney General Jon Bruning’s shrinking, but sizable lead in the U.S. Senate Primary might be enough to put him over the top. Then we noticed this article reporting that TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts had spearheaded a controversial set of TV ads questioning Bruning’s character while praising one of his main rivals, state legislator Deb Fischer. Word from ground forces hinted that the ads were gaining traction, so we deemed it a good reason to revisit the Cornhusker State again. The results:
Poll type:: Automated Date: 5/13//2012 – Participants: 1,109 Likely GOP voters – Margin of Error:± 2.95%
Wow. Fischer went from 16 points down to 5 points up. That’s a staggering 21-point swing in just one week. I believe the pollster is giving Ricketts’ ads too much credit, though. The ads in question only began running the day before the poll was conducted, and it usually takes a bit longer for ads, even effective ones, to gain that much traction so I’m skeptical that they had as large an impact as the article suggests. The real game changer was Governor Palin’s endorsement on Wednesday. In any event, if this poll is to be believed, Deb Fischer is surging at the right time and Governor Palin’s timely endorsement has a lot to do with that. You can donate to Fischer’s campaign here. The primary is tomorrow and complacency is not an option.
(h/t Charles Bogue)
Update: A few minutes ago, Governor Palin released a new statement reaffirming her support for Deb Fischer in tomorrow’s GOP primary. Via Facebook:
Tomorrow voters go to the polls in Nebraska. Please remember to vote for Deb Fischer as the next U.S. Senator from the Cornhusker State. Todd and I sent Deb the following note last week:
Deb – thank you for your note. We have been watching your race closely. Your efforts remind us of those our family put forth for Sarah’s races here in Alaska. Winning over voters through personal interactions is the way to go. People are tired of outside interests spending millions of dollars in political attack ads. We’re glad to see your grassroots efforts paying off!
We admire your conservative principles and know that you will not go to Washington to amass great wealth or power. You will go to Washington to serve the people of Nebraska, protect our Constitution and work for common sense solutions to help restore America. We are happy to support you and have asked SarahPAC to send a financial contribution to your campaign.
Good luck next Tuesday – the Palins are in your corner.
You can learn more about Deb by visiting her website at www.debfischer2012.com and following her on Facebook and Twitter.
– Sarah Palin
Update II: (h/t John_Frank) Via Tony Lee: Palin Pick Fischer Surges in Nebraska