First, Beau McCoy for Governor has a new ad up, called “My Pledge to You“.
See it here:
McCoy teased the highlights of this ad — 10,000 new jobs, traveling the globe — in the last debate.
This is interesting in that he has given some specifics here beyond “fighting ObamaCare” that may get ears to prick up a little during the onslaught of all the ads.
Things have happened in the two major statewide races over the last few days that lead us to believe that the campaigns believe there are major changes going on.
First let’s look at the Governor’s race.
Pete Ricketts, and others, have been pounding and pounding and pounding Jon Bruning on the airwaves for weeks. Many we talked to wondered how Bruning could come back, and/or why he wasn’t hitting back himself.
Then Bruning finally put up an ad that hit Ricketts, using much of the same formula that Ben Nelson used against Ricketts.
And what happened?
Team Ricketts screamed like a bully had stolen their lunch money.
Press conferences at the Capitol. Campaign endorsers Kay Orr and Bill Barrett calling out Bruning. Waving their hands about negative ads.
All this about ONE ad?
And then, DURING Wednesday’s debate, a tweet came out, and a webpage went up with a “new” poll, showing Ricketts up by nearly 10 points over Bruning.
Almost immediately after we Tweeted the poll, during the debate, we had politicos telling us that it was an “old” poll. The poll up by “Legacy Foundation Action Fund”, did not have any dates or other basic information about the poll, other than to say it was 500 Likely GOP voters.
And the URL on the webpage said, “support-ben-sasse-senate”.
We then heard from one of our sources that the poll was “3 weeks old”. And we posted that information on Leavenworth St (you know, our blog, not the actual street).
A few minutes later, the Legacy webpage was updated to say that the poll was taken last week. (With that info, we also heard from another politico who scoffed that a pollster would poll on a Friday.)
Now, there are those who criticize us for saying it was 3 weeks old, and question who are our sources, and yadda yadda.
First we would say, Forgive us for not bowing to the poll put up on a webpage, by a 501(c)(3), that specifically supports one candidate, was posted in the middle of a debate, gave almost no details surrounding the poll, certainly didn’t provide any crosstabs, and otherwise does not give any information as to its credibility.
But lets say, for argument’s sake, that it IS a good snapshot of the state of the campaigns, and was taken last week.
If that is the case, why are the Ricketts peeps jumping out of their chairs at Bruning’s relatively minor negative ad? If they are really up by 9%, wouldn’t they be keeping things positive? Would they really pull out Bill Barrett to go to bat for them?
This isn’t to say that Ricketts has a bad strategy, or doesn’t have the momentum or even that he is behind.
It is just that the poll numbers released and Ricketts’ actions of late don’t seem to coincide.
So here is what we think:
The race is VERY close.
That it could go any number of ways in the next few weeks.
And that NO one has it locked up.
We expect things to get weirder, possibly nastier and won’t be surprised if we get one of those days where it is 80 in the morning, tornadoes in the afternoon and snows in the evening.
Except with political stuff.
And then in the Senate race, the local paper had an interesting headline today:
“Sasse shifts tactics”
They weren’t kidding.
The Sasse camp has had a very good campaign going, in many senses. They have had all the support any candidate could want from DC and the conservative establishment. They have raised good money, nationally and in-state, and have taken their candidate from zero name ID to neck-and-neck in the campaign.
They have also run a relatively positive campaign — with only indirect negative attacks from their supporters and other DC peeps.
And then this strange attack comes yesterday:
“Shane Osborn, while STILL in the military, lived outside of Nebraska, and thought about living in South Dakota.”
Uhhhhh…what are we missing here?
Except that Osborn did move back to Nebraska.
And never moved to South Dakota.
This is supposed to be a “something”?
We sort of get it — Osborn has been hammering the “Beltway Ben” thing, and they want to show that Osborn too lived elsewhere. But it was WHILE he was in the Navy.
So while we have assumed that Sasse really has the mojo right now, the Sasse camp found the need to come out with a ham-fisted personally negative attack. And right on the lead-up to their big event with Palin and Cruz.
Did, “Osborn lived in Florida while in the Navy” poll well?
We don’t get it.
We have every indication that the Senate race IS neck and neck.
There may even be space in there for another neck, considering the number of Undecideds also involved.
We were under the impression that Sasse may have been pulling away, but after this attack, we really have re-thought that one.
And if THIS is where we are at two and a half weeks away, think what we might have coming up in the next week or so?
Much like the Governor’s race, we don’t think ANY candidate has this locked up.
And, again, we think Nebraskans can’t go wrong with either McLeay, Dinsdale, Sasse or Osborn representing them in the Senate.
But, the campaigns don’t feel that way.
And you may hear about that in the next 18 days.
This morning, Shane Osborn has a new ad up on this issue, called “Shame on Sasse“.
See it here:
Again, not real sure of the thinking behind the Sasse attack.
Shane Osborn has a new web ad out, called “Sheila Heieck Testimony“.
See it here.
Here’s the thing about this. We get that she’s trying to show how Shane was with them, etc. But we are less clear about how Ben Sasse’s prescient statement that Nelson was going to vote for ObamaCare is necessarily bad.
Just because you say “Putin is going to invade Ukraine”, doesn’t mean you’re in favor of that. It might simply mean, “this is what’s going to happen, so you better take the next steps.” We just don’t see this as some sort of “Ah-ha!”moment like Sheila seems to.
Osborn also has one called, “”Doug Kagan testimony, that you can see here:
And we only have one question:
Who is playing the piano???!!!
We live-Tweeted the Governor’s debate the other night, so we really don’t feel like re-living the whole thing for you.
Needless to say, the questions were generally atrocious. We don’t understand how you get that job, then come up with a completely worthless question like, “What will you do for agriculture?” or the pathetic, “How come Omaha and Lincoln get lots of road money??????”
We don’t blame Pete Ricketts for saying, “go look at my website”, because, exactly. Why the hell do you call the candidate onto a stage if you can get the answer with a mouse-click?
Frankly, they should have just done the “candidates ask the questions” thing for the entire debate. Sure some of the candidate took an easier route, like when Bruning patronized Bryan Slone by telling him how awesome he thinks Slone is.
But you also got a little bit of a feisty back and forth, like between McCoy and Ricketts. Other than when the moderator forgot to let Slone answer a question, that was about the only time we even looked up from playing “Flappy Bird”.
Oh, and yes, we think they should replace the opening “Pledge of Allegiance” with the Little League Pledge:
I Trust in God.
I love my country, and will respect its laws.
I will play fair, and strive to win.
But win or lose, I will always do my best.