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Demsí best friend: The GOP base (More "great advice" from the Left)
Salon ^ | May 16, 2012 | Steve Kornacki

Posted on 05/17/2012 12:58:30 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

At the very least, the Republican Party base’s revolt against its own establishment cost the GOP a 50-50 Senate tie in 2010, with primary voters forcing unelectable nominees on the party in three races that it had otherwise been on course to win. A decent case can be made that the uprising actually cost Republicans outright Senate control.

And now the same thing may be happening all over again, with Nebraska joining a growing list of unexpected 2012 Senate battlegrounds – at least for the moment.

The impetus is the surprise victory of Deb Fischer, a little-known state legislator, over two seasoned opponents in Tuesday’s Nebraska Republican Senate primary. Fischer’s candidacy seemed dead in the water until about a week ago, when she was endorsed by Sarah Palin. A last-second ad blitz from a super PAC controlled by the founder of Ameritrade added to her momentum, and Fischer ended up beating out state Attorney General Jon Bruning, who had been the favorite, by 5 points.

The outcome was greeted with immediate joy by Democrats, with the DSCC putting out a statement calling Fischer an “untested” and “accidental” nominee for the seat being vacated by Democrat Ben Nelson. The hope for Democrats is that the 61-year-old Fischer, who has represented a rural western Nebraska district in the state Senate since 2005, will melt under the spotlight of a high-stakes general election contest – much the way Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck and Joe Miller did in 2010.

This may prove to be wishful thinking. Fischer could end up being a perfectly competent candidate, one who isn’t prone to erratic behavior and pointlessly inflammatory rhetoric and who doesn’t have any serious skeletons in her closet. Certainly, she showed strong communication skills in her acceptance speech Tuesday night. And because of Nebraska’s deep red shading and its particular antipathy toward Democrats in the Obama era, Fischer’s margin for error is probably substantial. The same mistakes that derailed Angle in Nevada may only be the difference between, say, a 20- and 10-point win in Nebraska.

That said, Fischer absolutely is an untested candidate. Bruning and the race’s other major candidate, state Treasurer Don Stenberg, spent months firing shots at each other and gobbling up all of the attention. The intensity of their battle probably helped create the opening that Fischer seized, but the late timing of her surge also spared her from facing much in the way of media scrutiny or attacks from her rivals. She raised and spent very little money, and not much is known about her.

For Democrats, that’s reason to cheer. Had Bruning (or even Stenberg, a veteran of eight previous statewide campaigns) won the primary, the general election race would have been a snore. Polls showed both men comfortably ahead of the Democratic candidate, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who won elections in the state in 1982 (for governor), 1988 and 1994, back when he was something of a local hero. But Kerrey spent the last decade running the New School in New York and hasn’t been on a Nebraska ballot in 18 years. Partisan divisions have hardened since then, and Kerrey now faces cries of carpetbagging.

There are no meaningful Fischer/Kerrey poll numbers out yet. Presumably, the GOP nominee will begin with a solid lead, just because this is Nebraska (and because right now she embodies a neat underdog story). The question is how she’ll hold up, and on that score there’s some real doubt, which means that Nebraska is in play, at least provisionally.

Add in Indiana, where the Tea Party-aligned Richard Mourdock knocked off Dick Lugar last week, and two GOP primaries in one week have resulted in a surprise general election opportunities for Democrats. And primary season isn’t over yet. As Josh Kraushaar notes, the GOP’s grass roots seem poised to rise up against former Gov. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin; that race is already considered a tossup, but a weak GOP nominee could tip the scales.

Other developments over the last year have also bolstered Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate, including the emergence of Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts (her recent troubles notwithstanding), Olympia Snowe’s unexpected retirement in Maine, and encouraging news from Arizona and maybe even North Dakota. What looked like an awful Senate map for Democrats at the start of this cycle has come to seem more manageable – even more so after Tuesday night’s shocker in Nebraska.


TOPICS: Nebraska; Campaign News; Parties; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: debfischer; nebraska; palin; sarahpalin

1 posted on 05/17/2012 12:58:40 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Elizabeth Warren? Whats the writer smoking?


2 posted on 05/17/2012 1:29:06 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

So we should vote for the safe establishment politicians even though they oppose us on most issues that matter to us? That doesn’t sound like winning to me. Before anyone calls me a purist, this isn’t about voting for 80% “friends.” It’s about electing people who are 80% hostile to conservatism. What do you call someone who doesn’t agree with you 80% of the time? An enemy.

The Democrat Party is at best a European socialist party, and the RINO faction is pretty much the Democrat/liberal party of 20 years ago. What does that leave for the 50% of Americans on the right who don’t buy into gay marriage, abortion, massive entitlement programs, etc?


3 posted on 05/17/2012 1:35:22 AM PDT by CitizenUSA (Why celebrate evil? Evil is easy. Good is the goal worth striving for.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Even if, in the albeit highly unlikely possibility Fischer turns out to be a political fumbler, the GOP had better be ready to support her nonetheless.

All along, the race for this seat has been a near-slam dunk for the Repubs, so I hope it wasn`t put into unnecessary jeopardy by the nomination of an unvetted, untested candidate.

Nebraska FReepers, WSY?


4 posted on 05/17/2012 1:35:59 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
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To: wiggen

Warren and Brown are in a near deadlock in a race Brown should be winning by double-digits.


5 posted on 05/17/2012 1:42:29 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
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To: ScottinVA

Why should Brown be winning by double digits?


6 posted on 05/17/2012 2:07:57 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

the author....(snicker)

7 posted on 05/17/2012 2:36:33 AM PDT by BookmanTheJanitor
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To: ScottinVA
Fischer will win easy. Brunning and Stenberg beat each other up in the press and basically ran dirty campaigns. Dumb in NE. Fischer talked about what she would do and not about what her opponent allegedly did. Fischer is a solid candidate. She easily will capture all of the state to offset the Omaha liberal vote. Kerry and his carpet bagging aren't playing well. Remember he was in then out after he saw internal poll numbers and then got back in with DNC support/pressure. Fischer has been in the state legislature working NE issues. Where's Kerry been? That's her campaign in a nutshell.
8 posted on 05/17/2012 3:05:29 AM PDT by lp boonie (Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

America to Conservatives, lay down and die.


9 posted on 05/17/2012 3:08:55 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: wiggen
Elizabeth Warren? Whats the writer smoking?

A peace pipe.

10 posted on 05/17/2012 3:16:13 AM PDT by MAexile (Bats left, votes right)
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To: central_va

She is up double digits over Kerry right now.


11 posted on 05/17/2012 3:16:14 AM PDT by scooby321 (h tones)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Talk about delusional thinking. When you are a Communist, everything normal looks extreme.


12 posted on 05/17/2012 3:22:54 AM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: wiggen; GOPsterinMA; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; Clintonfatigued; randita; BillyBoy
LOL, Salon, just where I'd go to read about Republican primaries. None of the writers for them have ever met a Republican.

Elizabeth Warren? Whats the writer smoking?

The same "organic" reefer that all elitists use? Only they think Warren is a good candidate or ever did.

As for Fischer I would inform these idiots that Fischer is not Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, or Christine O'Donnell and Republican Nebraska is not a swing state or rat state like Delaware.

Fischer is a competent Republican in a heavily Republican state. Gay marriage loving blast from the past Bob Kerrey has NO CHANCE. Neither does Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota no matter how Scandinavian her name sounds. Donnelly isn't gonna win either, he'd have had a better chance against the old man Lugar, Mourdock is a twice elected state Treasuer, not some schlub. He got 62% in 2010 while Donnelly won reelection by an eyelash in a seat that went for Obama. And Arizona? Please. Warren can still win only cause it's MA but she's not in good shape right now. It's like the MA dems gave Brown a gift. The other GOP seat they could win is NV but that looks good for Heller right now.

The rats need to focus on races they can win. MA is the only one mentioned in the article that they can. (And Maine were the indie King is the defacto rat but there will still be a real rat on the ballot taking votes from him). They have an outside shot of keeping 50 or 51 Senators but Nebraska ain't be gonna be one of their seats and they know it.

I think the rhetoric is to get donors to give to the DSCC.

13 posted on 05/17/2012 3:23:39 AM PDT by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The same mistakes that derailed Angle in Nevada...
Yes, her "mistakes". Mainly her inability to do anything about the Massive Harry Reid Voter Fraud takeover of Nevada elections.
14 posted on 05/17/2012 3:28:01 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: wiggen
Elizabeth Warren? Whats the writer smoking?
This is Salon, after all. Part of the bizarro world of the left where Elizabeth Warren is credible and Christine O'Donnell is a kook.
15 posted on 05/17/2012 3:36:22 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The writer is correct. Republicans are their own worst enemy. They don’t call us the stupid party for nothing. She is wrong when it comes to some of the particulars though. The stupidity is on full display here every day. Idealogical purists would rather lose than accept half a loaf. Obama or Romney? He’ll, there’s no difference or Romney is worse! The left understands that they may not get their true progressive,but they’ll unite behind their candidate with the understanding that he may not get them as far down the road as what they want, but any movement in what they see as the right direction is in their best interest. Republicans, especially here at FR want the perfect candidate. They don’t care if the less than perfect candidate can advance their goals and get them a little bit down the road. No, they have to get to their destination right away and if the candidate can’t do that, well, he’s no better than the democrat, so why vote for him, in fact, let’s vote against him!

I am frustrated with the short sightedness of many freepers. I see trols here all the time planting the seeds of defeatism and folks here just buy into it. We are our worst enemy and the Dems best friend.


16 posted on 05/17/2012 3:44:05 AM PDT by RayBob (If guns kill people, can I blame misspelled words on my keyboard?)
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To: RayBob
I am frustrated with the short sightedness of many freepers. I see trols here all the time planting the seeds of defeatism and folks here just buy into it. We are our worst enemy and the Dems best friend.

I'll be voting for Virgil Goode and most of my Tea Party friends will be doing the same. So go blow a fuse.

17 posted on 05/17/2012 3:49:23 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: RayBob

Your a lawyer, ‘nuff said.


18 posted on 05/17/2012 3:50:23 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: ScottinVA

Swung Browns way late last election. I can’t agree with the double digits statement in that state.


19 posted on 05/17/2012 4:15:17 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: Nervous Tick

“Why should Brown be winning by double digits?”

1. Brown has voted center-left in the two years in office.
2. He hasn’t been embroiled in any real controversies or scandals.
3. Elizabeth Warren is a near-certifiable nutcase with a penchant for lying about her background.


20 posted on 05/17/2012 5:09:02 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
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To: ScottinVA

Now apply the fact that MA is a state that goes gaga for Kennedys and understand why your three points don’t make the difference you think they should.


21 posted on 05/17/2012 7:40:48 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: wiggen
Maybe Massachusetts voters want to exorcise their guilt feelings about their ancestors' crimes against the Cherokees by voting for a faux hemi-demi-semi-quadroon Cherokee.

Even if most of their ancestors were in Ireland, Italy, or Portugal during the colonial era.

22 posted on 05/17/2012 8:03:52 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: central_va

Wasted votes. May as well just vote for Obama.


23 posted on 05/17/2012 9:37:57 AM PDT by RayBob (If guns kill people, can I blame misspelled words on my keyboard?)
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To: central_va

Wasted votes. May as well just vote for Obama.


24 posted on 05/17/2012 9:37:57 AM PDT by RayBob (If guns kill people, can I blame misspelled words on my keyboard?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
There are no meaningful Fischer/Kerrey poll numbers out yet. Presumably, the GOP nominee will begin with a solid lead, just because this is Nebraska (and because right now she embodies a neat underdog story). The question is how she’ll hold up, and on that score there’s some real doubt, which means that Nebraska is in play, at least provisionally.

Uh, we'll see...

25 posted on 05/17/2012 11:01:18 AM PDT by bcsco
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