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Please begin with an informative title:

So by now you probably know this:


Republican Ben Sasse comfortably won his party's nomination for U.S. Senate in Nebraska Tuesday, handing the national tea party groups that backed him a much-needed victory headed into the heart of a congressional primary season offering few opportunities for success.

A week ahead of U.S. Senate nominating contests in Kentucky and Georgia, where tea party candidates have fizzled, and a U.S. House primary in Idaho where the tea party challenger may lose, national conservative groups were nervously eyeing Nebraska, where they deployed substantial resources to support Sasse.

"Ben Sasse’s victory in the Nebraska Senate Republican primary shows the strength of the conservative movement. All three candidates ran as conservatives -- as GOP candidates are doing everywhere -- but Nebraskans weren't fooled," said conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III.

Sasse's win was a boon to the parade of conservative groups and figures who rallied to his side. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) campaigned for Sasse alongside former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. The anti-tax Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund each spent at least hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting Sasse, the president of Midland University.

Sasse blunted a mini-surge from wealthy bank executive Sid Dinsdale, who appeared to emerge as a threat during the final week of the campaign amid a nasty advertising battle pitting Sasse and his allies against former state treasurer Shane Osborn, the candidate most closely aligned with the GOP establishment. - Washington Post, 5/13/14

And here's how you know he really, really, really  sucks.  He was backed by this guy:


Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) announced on Friday his endorsement of Ben Sasse for the Nebraska Senate seat soon to be vacated by retiring Republican Mike Johanns.

"In Nebraska, Ben Sasse is the strongest most conservative choice for U.S. Senate," Toomey said in a statement released by the Sasse campaign. “We need to elect a conservative to the U.S. Senate who will join in the fight to reduce the size of government. Ben Sasse is the conservative champion we need in the fight to get our fiscal house in order." - Huffington Post, 5/9/14

Yeah so you know he sucks.  And what's scary is with Nebraska being a pretty red state, this guy has a serious chance of winning:


Sasse became viable the old-fashioned way—by lapping his opponents in fundraising. He’d never run for office before, but he easily out-raised Osborn, and raised twice as much as Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale. (Dinsdale papered over the gap by moving $1 million from his wallet to his campaign.) The word went out early that the 42-year old wonk was going to be a new Ted Cruz. That was very specific praise. Cruz, however he’s viewed by the press and the left, was seen by the Tea Party as a generational talent with an unmatched intellectual command of the Constitution and the law.

But the endorsement process degenerated rather quickly into farce. Later in November, when Sasse met with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the GOP minority leader attacked him for cutting the “leadership” video and accepting support from a group—the Senate Conservatives Fund—that was funding a Kentucky primary challenger.

Here’s the irony, one that will run through modern conservative politics for years to come. The McConnell spat probably helped Sasse. In January, the candidate earned a cover story in National Review, labeling him “Obamacare’s Nebraska Nemesis.” Sasse liked it so much that he ran a TV ad with the cover image, even re-enacting the photo shoot. His opponents decided to attack his strength. Hadn’t Sasse presided over the birth of Medicare Part D? Hadn’t he been paid to talk about Obamacare since it was implemented? And hadn’t he once called Obamacare an “important first step” in the takeover of health care?

“He supports the basic principles of Obamacare,” wrote FreedomWorks’s Dean Clancy in March 2014. FreedomWorks had endorsed Osborn, and was increasingly looking isolated. “Universal coverage, individual mandate, premium support—he just wants it to be less complicated, less top-down, more efficient , and presumably more patient-friendly… I think he's a Mitt Romney-style technocrat masquerading as an anti-Obamacare firebrand for temporary political purposes.”

The attacks never connected. The “important first step” quote, which Osborn and Dinsdale used to batter Sasse, was ripped from a blander, nerdier speech. “Ultimately,” Sasse had said in 2010, “what we passed in March is an important first step on thinking about the coverage problem in the American health care system.” The attack was so obviously flawed that Sasse’s hometown newspaper called on the rival campaigns to stop bowdlerizing it.

That didn’t work, but the sense that Sasse was being attacked by “the establishment” absolutely did. On March 4, Utah Sen. Mike Lee endorsed Sasse. On March 28, FreedomWorks announced that it had bailed on Osborn and endorsed Sasse. “It is clear that Shane Osborn formed allegiances with Mitch McConnell and the K Street lobbying class,” FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe explained. Dean Clancy quit the organization, and has not responded to any questions since then. Later, when a Daily Caller reporter followed up, Kibbe explained that his new candidate was “organizing around the grassroots, around the kinds of senators like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz who I have a lot of respect for.” - Slate, 5/13/14

The one thing Sasse did that's very anti-Cruz but a smart move on his behalf was this:


Tuesday, with Nebraska voters headed to the polls, Mr. Sasse endorsed Mr. McConnell as minority leader.

“I’m for better conservative ideas and more winsome persuasion,” Mr. Sasse said on MSNBC when asked if he would support Mr. McConnell for leader should he win election to the Senate. “I’m a team player and looking forward to supporting whoever our leader is.”

Asked again if that meant he would back Mr. McConnell, Mr. Sasse was more succinct: “Absolutely,” he said. - Walls Street Journal, 5/13/14

Quite a move.  I'll be interested to see how this plays out.  I have zero doubt that Sasse will likely win the race given Nebraska's red streak.  But I do like our guy, Dave Domina (D. NE).  You can learn more about his campaign here:



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Originally posted to pdc on Tue May 13, 2014 at 09:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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