What are the REAL money numbers for #NESEN?

To start things off, Nebraska Governor candidate Bryan Slone has a new 30 second version of his intro piece up on the interwebs.
See it here:

Slone starts airing this the first of his television commercials, Friday, in a statewide cable buy.

With his current status in the Gov polling, Slone obviously needs to introduce himself to voters and spend some money doing so. If the green-eyeshade types want him in the McMansion next year, they better continue to pony up and push those numbers. It will be interesting to see where he sits in a month or so.

And we wouldn’t feature this as a stand-alone SAB, but Slone has just a leeetle bit of a thin Chris Christie thing going on there.

Slone - Christie - SAB 01

Not a good or a bad thing. Just caught our attention.


We saw the recent analysis by the OWH regarding the money raised in the U.S. Senate race and it got us asking some questions. When is a million dollars NOT a million dollars?

Answer: When you’re not allowed to spend it.

You see, the OWH listed the Cash on Hand amounts for the U.S. Senate candidates, as filed on their FEC reports. It’s a clear line to be filled out on the form. But another line, that is not tabulated, is whether the contribution is for the Primary or General Election.

In other words, Torvak Jacobschmidt can give the “Joe Nebraska for Senate, Inc.” campaign a total of $5,200 ($10,400 per couple). But only $2,600 of that can be used by Joe in the Primary. The other $2,600 can only be used in the General Election. If Joe doesn’t make it to the General, he has to give the other $2,600 back to Torvak.

So, that means one has to fish through those reports and see how much was given to a candidate for the Primary and how much for the General. We now have that info, and here is what we present to you:

FEC Cash on Hand (COH): $1,002,453
Actual Primary COH: $590,353

FEC COH: $582,335
Actual Primary COH: $463,180

Cash on hand: $471,313
Actual Primary COH: $459,158

FEC COH: $193,754
Actual Primary COH: $154,254
(*this is a back-of-the-napkin tabulation)

Now the number filled in the the FEC for isn’t for nothin’. Having raised X amount of money shows a certain extent of support and can show what a candidate is capable of in the General Election, etc. The only thing is, many believe that the whomever is winner of this GOP Primary, they will go into the General with VERY likely path to victory.

So it is important to compare apples to apples.

To say that the Sasse camp has about 70% more COH than Osborn or Dinsdale is much different than the reality of having about 27% more. Of course a hundred thirty grand is still a hundred thirty grand. But it’s not four hundred grand.

For some reason you aren’t getting this type of analysis in the daily papers.

You’re welcome


We have heard complaints from some about the numbers in the Senate poll that was put out yesterday by Conservative Intel — a group that one could argue is favorable to Ben Sasse. But here’s the deal: If Osborn, or any of the other campaigns, really believe that those numbers are way off, or distorted for some reason, they will a) put out a release saying so, and/or b) have their surrogates put out their own poll saying so.

The crosstabs (which you can find here) are interesting in that the breakdown is not by Congressional District, but by Omaha or Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney TV market. Hmm. However, if the only plan is to have the Minions head out to the comments section and trash the “bogus poll”, then odds are the poll isn’t that far off.

And considering how much attention the Osborn camp has been paying to Sasse — and Sasse to Osborn — the idea that the race is close is not that surprising.

But here is the other thing: There is still a BIG chunk of Undecideds out there, with lots more TV to come.

We expect to see more polling.


Shane Osborn was interviewed on FoxNews the other day (and hey, we wouldn’t call that hair color very “blonde” there Fox. Watch it…). See it here.


Nothing too unusual on the Osborn front — again him trying to get the interviewer past the Chinese incident and onto other things Senate. Nice, brief job of Osborn carrying himself.


ICYMI, Don Stenberg will NOT be running for Attorney General, as some speculation was out there — some encouraged by Stenberg himself. He will instead be running for re-election as State Treasurer.

In the mean time, as we noted the other day, Lincoln attorney Doug Peterson has announced his intention to run for AG — with the assumption that Jon Bruning will be in for Gov.


  1. I know Doug Peterson pretty well, having worked with him on some cases involving chemical injury. He’s a good guy. I had the impression he was fairly conservative, but don’t know his partisan affiliation.

  2. Lil Mac says:

    Poor Sasse. He only has 29% more spendable cash instead of 70% more spendable cash.

    Okay. Good for Sasse. Now, back to that poll.

    Assuming this poll is at all valid, Sasse has momentum. One may wish Osborn was doing better. And one may dislike Sasse as egotistical, crafty, and expedient. But that rather well describes the entire gilded outhouse that is the U. S. Senate. If as a candidate cannot convince voters here, he is soft prey for the predators in the Senate and then all Nebraskans will suffer. Frankly, Osborn is acting like a novice with his childish tweeting and his Navy only focus. Plenty of NE Republican voters rue the day they trusted and voted for Conservative GOP war hero Chuck Hagel.

    If Sasse is blowing hot air, it is hot air about issues and policies NE Primary voters seem to want to hear. Unless Osborn has a brilliantly opaque strategy, he is going to get caught in a negative reinforcement cycle that will leave Sasse playing the high road candidate and that can easily widen the gap to a Sasse landslide.

    Bruning on the other hand appears to be learning from experience. Last time around, Bruning jumped in early, fatigued voters, Fischer floated up positive with momentum and crushed Bruning. This time Ricketts is out there early fatiguing voters and Bruning lays back with positive potential for momentum. Bruning seems to need to be coaxed to run. That will seem refreshing to voters. Of course that’s all façade. They all, every one of them, equally crave power. But not all of them learn by other’s mistakes. Ricketts, who managed to make nasty Nelson look nice, apparently doesn’t even learn from his own mistakes. Bruning however seems to have learned better timing and nuance of approach, useful for a governor. Again, if one cannot convince voters, how can he be a convincing executive head of state?

    Ricketts will probably drop out and endorse Bruning.

  3. Minions says:

    Sasse is still way behind Shane. My beef with the poll is that Sasse once again is inaccurately portraying himself to Nebraskans. The poll uses TV markets which are highly dubious. Omaha and Lincoln are not where this race will be won in. The 3rd District is the prize and Sasse is barely double digits there.

  4. Sasse current numbers says:

    If you throw in that Sasse has spent 200k on staff and probably paid a bunch of year end bills he probably is sitting just below 300k at the moment. No wonder hes getting off the airwaves for a month+.

  5. Political Junkie says:

    To Minions – are you telling us all that Omaha and Lincoln, where the total population is over 650,000, will be second fiddle in this race to the 3rd district with a total population of 607,000? Sound logic.

    Look, all we need to take away from the polls at this point, as the post clearly mentions, is that Sasse is narrowing the gap and there are still a significant amount of undecideds. It’s those undecideds that will determine the race, regardless of their address….

  6. The Third says:

    Political Junkie,
    The 1st and 2nd CDs pretty much put Rs and Ds nose to nose at the finish line. Without the 3rd CD, which leans heavily Republican, it is pretty damned hard for anyone to get elected to statewide or federal office in this state.

  7. @Political Junkie says:

    Please stop calling yourself a political junkie if it is too difficult for
    You to look at historical turnout percentages…

    Even vice candidate Fahlson knows that!

  8. Bruning Supporter says:

    So the cross tabs say it was broken down by DMA. Has anyone actually bothered to go over to the google and looked up a Nebraska DMA map? Looks like the poll is probably correct and Bruning (if/when he gets in) will have a pretty comfortable lead.

  9. Poll Watcher says:

    If any of you care to take a look at the real numbers, Deb Fischer won the Senate primary by picking up huge margins in all of the areas outside of the regular TV markets. Bruning was the leader on election day in all of the areas where TV advertising could make a difference. It’s debatable as to how much real help Joe Ricketts’ last minute investment was. Fischer probably was going to win without Joe.

    I can guarantee all of you that the Republican primary will be won in the 3rd District. There are lots more Republicans in the 3rd, and they vote at a much higher percentage than Omaha and Lincoln. If Bruning didn’t learn that lesson when Fischer ground him into the dirt he doesn’t have a chance at winning a run for Governor.

  10. Not a bad SAB, Sweeper … but I still prefer my Chris Christie/Brady Hoke match-up.

    And, FWIW, its my opinion that the Republican primary for both Sen and Guv are essentially the same as the general, so I wouldn’t worry too much about how many dollars Sasse, or any of them, have stored up for the general. Whoever wins the primary gonna be Da Man … so look for all of them to shoot the lock off going into May. Put another way, you win the Republican primary and you can phone the general in. Regardless of what the Progs would like to believe, this is still red, red, red Nebraska.

  11. @Sasse Current Numbers says:

    If you knew what you were talking about, you’d get the joke. The reason why Sasse is getting off the air for a month is because independent expenditures on his behalf are about to light up our boob boxes.

  12. DC Blogs says:

    Evidently a major DC Blogger is calling around on Sasse’s flip flop on immigration and the Sasse’s family involvement in the Fremont ordinance repeal effort. That is not going to go well for Ben or with his core support.

  13. I want to rent from Sasse in the D.C. area says:

    Because it’s just “investment property” I’m sure there will be plenty of units from which to choose. Just post a picture here so I can decide. Thanks in advance.

  14. The Third says:

    So who are you all favoring in our little primary out here in the 3rd? It seems Sweeper needs to change his logo from “the talk of Nebraska politics” to “the talk of Lincoln/Omaha politics.” So what is it – another win for the public trough slopping and storage unit baron Adrian Smith or the lifelong public serving veteran Tom Brewer?

  15. DCRP member says:

    If its true Ben Sasse is against the Fremont Illegal Immigration Ordinance, then I will not vote for him. Where is the proof that is his position?

  16. To DCRP Member says:

    Midland and Don Peterson Real Estate voted to support the repeal at the Fremont Chamber of Commerce meeting. Ben runs Midland and his step-father runs the Real Estate Company. Read the Fremont Tribune about the vote. Its all there for you to read

  17. vet says:

    The job of a NE Senator is to convince ninety nine other Senators to do what is best for Nebraska. Unless Osborn is going to fly up ninety nine arseholes and surveil them from the inside, his experience flying a surveillance crate is perhaps less noteworthy than the experience of we who flew bombers directly over enemy guns. Are we all senatorial too?

    As a public figure Osborn can’t even control his tweeting. He’s like a girl who went on Jenny Craig and now seeks to hook a rich guy.

  18. Number Cruncher says:

    So the three leading candidates for the Senate seat are really not that far apart in cash on hand. Sasse and Osborn look good on paper financially, but have inflated their numbers with an accounting trick. With all the undecideds, it’s kind of moot now anyway. But one thing you could say: Osborn’s support is soft, according to these numbers. However, this “poll” was taken by people with a vested interest in Sasse as a “Bushie” who will toe the line for the D.C. inside crowd. Mysteriously, all those who have a favorable view of Sasse are going to “vote” for him. As if that ever happens. Meanwhile, the poll hardly makes a dent into the Third District? So . . . big whoop?

  19. Anonymous says:

    To “The Third”
    Adrian Smith consistently represents the 3rd District by voting conservatively.
    Brewer, on the other hand, has stated he’s for expanding Medicare and wants to keep on studying the Keystone XL Pipeline.
    If I need someone who can kill with just his thumbs, I’ll hire Brewer.
    When I need someone to represent me in Congress, I’ll stick with Adrian Smith.

  20. Jon Bruning's Political Baggage says:

    If and when AG Bruning announces for Nebraska Governor, I think that will be a big mistake.
    The political baggage is still there that enabled Ms Fischer to beat him, namely how Bruning got so rich while in office and his ties to Nelnet and his rich friends and generally loony behavior (remember the racoons?).
    And the guy has cancer which is nothing to sneeze at. If I were Bruning I’d lay low and get healthy and not risk a campaign (and a job) which he might not want.


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