This is the least troubling of the races to pick, though lately it’s gotten tighter. But at the start, few (well, except Leavenworth Street) picked Pete Ricketts to be ahead at this point. The conventional wisdom was that good old Don Stenberg was going to coast to victory on his nearly 100% name recognition and past performance. Heck, that was even the Donster’s game-plan, shown by his refusal to debate Ricketts or David Kramer, under the sham of “positive campaigning”. Finally, a week before the election Don has decided to campaign.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Tuesday: 1) People were found to be tired of Don, his losing streak and bland platitudes; 2) They wanted to go with someone who can actually beat Earl Ben Nelson in November; and 3) Pete spent a gob of money getting his name and message out there. Well, not a gob. More like Four Million gobs. But while everyone keeps hitting on that, they should remember a couple of other Nebraskans who also spent a few million gobs: George Grogan and John Breslow. Yet neither won their party primary (Grogan didn’t even get 5% of the vote).
So it goes to show that you have to have something other than money to win. At this point, Pete has shown that he has that something else, and people are willing to follow him.
And David Kramer also got the blunt message that you DO have to have money to deliver your message. Generally those who listened to DK liked his message. Problem is, you can only talk to so many people at coffee shops. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong race. I would not count him out in the future.
Pete Ricketts will win on Tuesday (surprise, surprise).
And he will get over 50% (actual surprise).
(Come back in an hour when Leavenworth Street will pick the 3rd District Congressional primary.)