First, a look at a Bart McLeay for Senate ad out now.
See it here:
At this point no one expects McLeay to make a splash in the race, but we will see if this positive appearance can set him up for something in the future.
The national politicos are all asking now:
What does the Nebraska Senate GOP Primary election mean for the Tea Party?
“Um…what?”, said the Nebraska voters.
Did you not know, Nebraska voters? Nebraska is a bellwether for the rest of the “Tea Party” races.
Can the Republican establishment finally tame the tea party and retake the Senate?
The Nebraska primary on May 13 will test whether the likes of Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin can push first-time candidate Ben Sasse past former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, though the GOP establishment has largely sat out the race because the seat is virtually certain to stay in Republican hands.
In an story entitled, “Why Nebraska is a make-or-break Senate race for the tea party“, the Washington Post notes:
Leading national tea party groups and figures have gone all in for Republican Ben Sasse in the Nebraska Senate race, a high-stakes gambit that could either blunt or bolster their momentum heading into the heart of the 2014 primary season.
Sasse, the president of Midland University, may represent the best chance for the national tea party movement to claim victory in a contested Senate primary this year.
And yet we wonder how many Nebraskans realize that a vote for Sasse is a vote for the “national tea party movement”.
Many? Most? Few?
The Farm Bureau, Jeff Fortenberry and Kay Orr will have more sway than Mike Lee and Ted Cruz — to say nothing of “The Senate Conservative Fund” and “Freedomworks”, whom the average Nebraskan have never heard of.
(Well, they’ve certainly heard their ads, which certainly carry a message. But that is using their money, not their influence.)
The Post feels that how Nebraskans vote next week will affect other states:
What happens in Nebraska on May 13 could set a tone for other primaries happening soon. A Sasse loss is the last thing tea party groups need heading into a stretch of primaries during the next eight weeks including contests in Kentucky, Mississippi and Kansas, where insurgent conservatives remain underdogs in their quests to defeat incumbent Republican senators.
Would a Milton Wolf victory in Kansas affect a Nebraska voter deciding between Dinsdale, McLeay, Osborn and Sasse?
And would the inverse be true?
We just don’t see it.
The Hill weighs in on this as well (ironically mixing up Sasse and Osborn’s images as they name them), noting that all of the Tea Partiers are weighing in on this race, and feel it is a critical win for them.
Watch it here:
We understand the vote tallying by the Senate honchos.
But we don’t see the average Nebraska voter making a “Mitch McConnell vs Mike Lee” decision when they go into the booth.
It certainly didn’t help, and arguably backfired on Don Stenberg two years ago.
But of course what did help Deb Fischer was a boatload of cash that was spent bashing her opponent.
That is what is happening for Sasse right now.
So while voters may not blacken Sasse’s oval with Ted Cruz in mind, the money that is behind Cruz may very well influence them.
In the meantime, the reports say that Sid Dinsdale dropped a cool million into the race, and may even rule the airwaves in the final week.
But of course that would be excluding the ads put out by the all the various national groups who have gone all-in for Ben Sasse.
For instance, the Madison Project, a “Tea Party” org out of Washington, DC which has endorsed Ben Sasse, calls Sid Dinsdale a “Counterfeit Conservative” in this radio ad:
The Dinsdale peeps pout out a release saying,
I am a life-long, pro-life conservative, who has voted for Republicans in every election and supported countless Republican candidates’ campaigns. I’m not the candidate who said Obamacare was an important first step in healthcare and could be fixed. I have passionately supported the Republicans’ attempts to repeal and defund Obamacare and would fight for Obamacare’s full repeal in the US Senate.
You’ll note the not-so-subtle swipe at the widely quoted Ben Sasse line.
We understand that Dinsdale will be up with his own response ad, and we will post that here and/or on the Twitter when we have it.
Here is the Dindsdale response radio ad:
In the mean time, this new ad from Sid Dinsdale that you have likely seen, called “Accountable to Nebraska“.
See it here:
Once again, a subtle hint from Dinsdale about the out-of-Nebraska influence in this race, as alluded to above.
And then a new ad from The Senate Conservative Fund on behalf of Ben Sasse.
See it here:
And then there is Utah Senator Mike Lee for the “Citizens United Political Victory Fund” from Washington, DC which will be spending $150,000 on behalf of Ben Sasse.
See it here:
And now there is a new group called “Freedom Pioneers Action Network” that has Mitch McConnell ties that is attacking Ben Sasse.
See the 15 second ad here:
We will say this about the otherwise generic ad on Sasse:
They should have left Sasse’s kids out of it.
That tactic will backfire.
We have criticized Sasse’s use of his daughters in his ad, but we don’t think this ad is any better by trying to use them to crack back at Sasse.
We doubt that you’ve heard the last of this.
Are YOU getting overloaded?
Well, we can tell you that we are.
We will try to hit these issues in another post, but in the meantime, Nebraska Watchdog makes a nice summary of these issues:
- Sasse spoke to groups that support Obamacare
- Osborn accused of exaggerating resume
- Anti-Osborn 60 Plus ad pulled
- and the afotrementioned Madison Project ad
See their story here.
We feel that post by Watchdog makes up for their story about Jane Kleeb’s thoughts on the Omaha area GOP Congressional primary.
(We had Tweeted that we were looking forward to the Khloe Kardashian endorsement in the #NE02 race, which would likely have more influence than Kleeb.)
On this busy afternoon in this busy week, we will have at least one more post today to focus on the Governor’s race.