Why the press loves “Independents”

Imagine IndependentsThis past weekend the editorial boards of the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star made endorsements in the 2nd District House of Representatives and U.S. Senate races, respectively.

The OWH picked Democrat Brad Ashford over Republican incumbent Congressman Lee Terry. The LJS chose Independent Jim Jenkins over either Republican Ben Sasse or Democrat David Domina for the seat being vacated by Republican Mike Johanns.

In each of the endorsements, the papers noted that their chosen candidate would be “independent”.

The OWH gushed that Ashford is someone, “for whom political party matters little.”

The LJS rhapsodized, “Imagine the U.S. Senate with a handful of sensible independents.

Ah, those untouchable, magical independents. Remember how much all the news outlets would long for the Independents back in the days when the Democrats had a firm grip on the Senate and the House? There was no chance of a Republican takeover, but do you recall how the newsies would just get that starry-eyed look when talking about how the “I’s” would control Congress?

Not so much?

Oh yeah. Right. Back in those days, the real talk was about how we needed to change the rules of the Senate so the Republicans couldn’t filibuster and block that awesome legislation that the Senate needed for Barack Obama to Make Things Happen. Oh, and we didn’t care about the House because Nancy Pelosi had a firm grip and wasn’t going to let Dems get away.

But now?
It’s those Republicans and their “bickering” who have bottled things up! Why, the Democrats would LIKE to do some good in Congress, but the Republicans just get in the way! And if they control BOTH Houses of Congress??

Well, buh, fwwppp…..WE NEED INDEPENDENTS!
They will keep Republicans….er…BOTH parties in check!
Yeah, that’s the Independent ticket.

Because, see, Independents are perfect for the media. The media sees ITSELF as independent. No labels. Just looking out for the good of the country, donchaknow.

Wait, doesn’t close to 90% of members of the media vote Democrat? Oh, don’t you nevermind that! They are registered Independents, who just happen to vote for who they think — nay, KNOW — is best!

When looking at someone like a Brad Ashford, who is just itching to do some Social Justice with your tax dollars, the OWH salivates. Take a Jim Jenkins, (who we hear is polling around 5%), who waaaasssss a Democrat, and the hearts of the LJS skip a beat at his “crooked grin that belies a contemplative nature.

Yeah, they actually wrote that.

The LJS finishes up, “Imagine the U.S. Senate with a handful of sensible independents to tip the balance in favor of workable solutions.

Now folks, take a WILLLLD guess at which party’s “workable solutions” they actaully like…


Over on the #NE02 side, Democrat Brad Ashford has a new ad out, called, “Brad Ashford – Disgusting” pushing back at Terry’s “Good Time” law ads.
See it here:

To defend himself Ashford brings out Tom freaking Monaghan as, what? Some sort of “independent voice of the judiciary? Oh, you mean former Nebraska Democrat Party Chairman Tom Monaghan? THAT Tom Monaghan?

And then there’s retired Judge Ronald E. Reagan also going to Ashford’s corner. That would be former Lyndon Johnson delegate to the Democrat Convention and 1970 Democrat Lt. Governor candidate, Ronald E. Reagan.

My, how those independent sounding law dawgs have fine Democrat pedigrees….


The Sasse-abago has a new ad out.
See it here:

We aren’t saying that Sasse has this wrapped up, but the debate now seems to be what his margin of victory will be. Nate Silver puts it somewhere between +10 and +35, with +23 being the current guess.

And don’t forget that the LJS, before saying how “former” Democrat Jim Jenkins would change Congress, noted Sasse, “may be destined to make his mark on history.”


As we Twittered late Friday, YouGov/CBS/NYT finally has new polling numbers for the Nebraska Governor’s race.
They look like this:

Pete Ricketts: 56%
Chuck Hassebrook: 35%

It turns into a bit of a chicken and egg thing, but if Republican voters begin to think that they don’t have to turn out for a Ricketts or Sasse victory, what does that do to the very close 2nd District House race and the the very close Unicameral races?

(Sure you can say, that the numbers wouldn’t be that high unless people were already turning out, but what does it do for those voters on the margins?)

The post-election analysis will be intriguing.


Hey, and just for closure’s sake, we want to double-back on the review of the Absentee Ballot Requests we discussed in the last post. As we had updated, those were REQUESTS, and not actual votes in yet.

Obviously the actual vote numbers will be lower, but that request number is still significant.


  1. Fritz says:

    Wouldn’t Brad Ashford ALSO make $174,000 if elected. If he’s going to trash Terry for his salary, perhaps Brad would volunteer a 50% pay cut? This way, we’ll know he’s not doing this just to get Terry’s check instead?

  2. Conservative, Christian, Business Owner, Father, Husband, Independent Thinker says:

    I’m a Christian Conservative, and in November it will be my honor to cast my vote for Brad Ashford.

    Flame away folks, but none of your social issue B.S. will be enough to sway me. If Ashford votes 100% with the liberals, then I’ll support a Constitutional Conservative in the 2016 Republican Primary (hopefully one will be running).

    Go Ashford, Go!!!!!

    (Good luck in your next career, Mr. Nice House)

  3. Fritz says:

    If you vote for Brad, you’re not Conservative, you’re pro-abortion, and I doubt you’re even a Republican. You’re a Pelosi supporting RINO. If you think you’ll just get rid of Ashford in 2016, you’re also an idiot.

  4. Fritz says:

    And your litmus test for supporting a “constitutional conservative” is that Ashford votes 100% with the libtards? You’re a dem plant and not a “Christian Conservative.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    Domina and Hassebrook are both at least 20 pts down 3 weeks out. While the Nazi defending pot head is toast no matter what, Chuck is more substantial. By allowing him to close and then plunge, Chuck now has active downward momentum; not as an underdog but rather dogged under. Perception is everything.

    So what is the worry again? “If Republican voters begin to think that they don’t have to turn out…”

    This is an Obama midterm. Republicans will turn out. The question is Independents. They hate politics and negative campaigning. Both drive then to stay home. But this year Ebola and head chopping ISIL etc., are exceptional national dangers that should strongly spur Independents to physical action, either by wearing sandwich signs saying “The end is nigh” or they will vote in November. Expect numbers to be higher than the low turnout most pundits expect.

    At this point, Dom and Hass are locked into a negative ad spiral, which lowers them more than it lowers the Republicans, allowing Ricketts and Sasse, who have their base cemented, to appear dignified to Independs now that Indeps are finally awake. Still one must be step carefully.

    And Lee? He wishes he was running against a Nazi defending pot head. Heck, who wouldn’t? Domina is sort of wasted on Sasse.

  6. Sonny says:

    Brad Ashford as a independent is a total joke, why is he running as a democrat, he tried the independent trick in the mayors election as one in a ploy to split the vote and come in 2nd, and was soundly rejected by Omahans, he is a bad lawmaker. He has mile a minute ideas, his dabble in truancy laws was a catastrophe, and is yet to be corrected. He backed Juliette Mora on MECA, like other dems when the city attorney and attorney general said she was in violation of one of the requisites, he is a lawyer. Media may move the subject of early release of sentences from good-time, it would have never happened had it not for court rulings of interpretations and confusion of another crap law, the good time laws and his foray into them, Read the transcripts on LB379, He knew what the mayor and police chief and I am sure a majority of Omahan’s desired, and played them on the end of Ernies strings, how will he dangle for the skin pulled till her eyes pop out lunatic from San Francsisco

  7. Anonymous says:

    By pulling the “abortion card” as a reason not to vote for Ashford – or as a reason to vote FOR Lee – is ridiculous. Even when the Republicans held the White House and both houses of Congress, nothing was done on abortion. It’s a wedge issue that some Republicans like to pull as a scare tactic, yet they never actually do anything to end it.

  8. Fritz says:

    Pulling the abortion card? Don’t say that the guy at 2:00 pm is “Christian” or “Conservative” when he’s voting for Ashford. Ashford’s fundraiser includes in her profile: “Building political proficiency for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland through outreach and contact with voters.” Ashford is actively raising money from the pro-abortion crowd! Oh, but wait…2:00 pm wants Ashford so he can, “support a Constitutional Conservative in the 2016 Republican Primary?” Ridiculous? Really?

  9. Fritz says:

    Anonymous, to quote Billy Madison, “What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.”

  10. To Anonymous at 8:42 says:

    Voting for Democrats gets you Obamacare. Obamacare funds abortions. Ashford supports Obamacare and Abortions. Good luck with your theory

  11. Politics, the Musical says:

    Lee Terry was a GOP US Senator for 15 years. Brad Ashford was a GOP NE State Senator for 15 years.

    During Brad’s 25 years as a Republican, he took GOP money to run for office. Brad became a State Senator briefly as a Democrat and he only became an Independent when he lost a mayoral race against two Republicans and a Democrat who paid bums $5 bucks and a sandwich to vote.

    Now Brad seeks a seat in the same extra-partisan House Terry is in, a seat Terry won in 1999 by only 40% of the GOP Primary; a seat Jon Christensen had vacated, with Christiansen himself having won that House seat by gutting Brad Ashford 53 to 25 in a GOP primary.

    Brad wants to be a party basher. Nebraska voters vehemently despise partisanship. It’s a winning tactic that Ben Nelson rode to success. It works here.

    Terry pledged to run for only 3 terms. That anchor aside, the keymost aspect is that Second District is Metro Urban and a damn difficult place for any Conservative Republican to win.

    Terry campaigned effectively under the circumstances. He beat Democrats Scott 67/34, Kiel 66/31, Simon 63/33 and Thompson 61/36. Then in 2006, Democrats took the House, and Terry beat Esch 55/45, 10 pts. Then came 2008 and Obama Democrats poured millions into 2D. Terry was forced to appeal to “Obama-Terry voters” while outside groups hammered Esch. Terry won 52/48, only 4 pts.

    NE Republicans turned on Terry for Terry existing as a GOP Conservative in Democrat territory. And local Democrats, usually as ineptly myopic as Republicans are intolerantly myopic, somehow grabbed 25 year Republican Ashford to carry the Democrat banner in a 2D that went for Obama.

    Its interesting. But its also irrelevant. For (musically) “You say Obama, I say Ebola…”

  12. The Lincoln Journal Star returns to form today, endorsing Hassebrook, not mentioning his anti-GMO stances, or his votes for massive UNL tuition increases. In fact, they allow as he’s not quite liberal enough for them on the death penalty.

  13. Lil Mac says:

    With a BA in god knows what, Hassebrook was unqualified to teach in the university he oversaw as an elected Regent. That’s the rot of elective politics in a nutshell. But on the upside, the LJS was happy to discover Chuck hasn’t defended any Nazis.

  14. Tonic & Tonic says:

    #14: It is evident by your comment that you inject only the finest black tar heroine. Moses in a mumu man, try to make some sense!

  15. Interested Observer says:

    I never realized that Lee Terry was EVER a “US Senator”. I always thought he is a member of the House of Representatives.

    I also never realized that “Nebraska voters vehemently despise partisanship”. When did this start?

  16. anonymous says:

    “With a BA in god knows what, Hassebrook was unqualified to teach in the university he oversaw as an elected Regent.” And Rick Perry is governor of Texas. Your point?

  17. Everyone in the legislature knows everyone else’s partisan affiliation. What enables the facade of non-partisanship is a corrupt system of secret balloting for legislative leadership positions, which allows senators to escape accountability for their votes, and to horse-trade for chairmanships.

    Non-partisan and transparent are more or less opposites. I prefer to be able to see what the crooks I elect are doing.

  18. TexasAnnie says:


    Say, did you see what the U.S. Supreme Court did today about Texas’ recent onerous abortion law?
    You know, the law that catapulted Wendy Davis to this gubernatorial race. The people here will elect Gregg Abbott who will continue to defend this failed abortion law. But Wendy Davis is to be commended for her keener ‘er’ understanding of relevant law than our current Attorney General, —and wannabe Governor!

  19. Wendy Davis, who left her husband and kids the day after he had paid off her student loans, is crashing and burning, and disgracing herself by mocking her opponent’s disability in the process.

    I can completely understand why Texas Annie is a fan.

  20. Kortezzi says:

    Independents/Moderate Democrats = liberals who wish to disguise their liberalism (Ashford, Jenkins)
    Moderate Republicans = Democrats in conservative districts (Cantor, Cochran, etc.)
    Mainstream Democrats = Socialists (Harkin, Franken, etc.)
    Progressive Democrats = Marxists (Obama, Pelosi, etc.)
    Socialists = Communists (Bernie Sanders)

    Everyone seems to pick a label that is one notch more conservative than they really are.

  21. TexasAnnie says:

    There ‘ya go again, Gerard! Wherein my post did I say I was a fan of Wendy Davis? Have I even implied that I would cast my vote for her? You repeatedly display a very bad habit of setting up straw men and knocking them down, then claiming to have won your argument!

    As I recall, when the critical abortion filibuster played out here in Texas, y’all (or perhaps it was Macdaddy very strenuously on behalf of y’all) were so damned certain that closing most of the clinics statewide simultaneously was LEGAL. And now? Are you willing to say that Gregg Abbott and the Republican Party of Texas were correct in aggravating the pro-choice advocates here? Was Gregg Abbott wrong or correct about abortion clinics? Simple question, Gerard.

    And while I understand your misunderstanding about the so-called ‘disability ad,’ (locally critics of Wendy Davis have called for the release of her medical records, soooo, her supporters have called for Abbott’s medical records in response) it did play out of context and badly in the national media.

    Those of us who do not vote Democrat, and will not vote for those who suppress reproductive rights, continue to weaken the power of the Republican Party nationwide. Add to that the increasing recognition of marriage equality, and it’s easy to predict the rise of INDEPENDENT voters!!! (Say, maybe that Ashford fellow up there does have a real chance of unseating Terry Lee.)

  22. The people here will elect Gregg Abbott who will continue to defend this failed abortion law. But Wendy Davis is to be commended for her keener ‘er’ understanding of relevant law than our current Attorney General, —and wannabe Governor!

    But you don’t support her.

  23. Anon says:

    #28, I don’t know about rise in independent voters, to me they are like the undecided, but if you were voting in Nebraska you might be better served as a democrat

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