Scott Kleeb is back in the national spotlight as CQ Politics reports on the draft Kleeb movement. Now that Omaha mayor Mike Fahey has taken himself out of the running for the Senate seat being vacated by Chuck Hagel, Kleeb is looking more and more likely.
Scott told CQ Politics that he's seriously considering the run:
Kleeb told CQ Politics Tuesday afternoon that Fahey’s decision not to run "has certainly focused my mind on making a decision." He added, "I’m going to spend a lot of time on the phone, both to people in Nebraska and in D.C."
CQ goes on to quote MyDD's Jonathon Singer, echoing the analysis kos reported on. Conventional wisdom weighs against a win by Kleeb, but Scott is not a conventional candidate, and Nebraska isn't a conventional red state when it comes to Senate races. Scott ran stronger than any Democrat has in the 3rd district in decades last year--the most Republican part of the state. And Nebraskans have a long tradition of sending Democrats to the Senate (only one Republican--Hagel--has won a Senate seat since 1972).
While a rematch with Smith in NE-03 would be the cautious way to go, there's no guarantees there. The district is still prohibitively Republican, despite the inroads Scott made. Now that the Club for Growth has their man Smith ensconced in the seat, they'll do everything they can to keep him there, and will find very enthusiastic partners in the NRCC, which will be defending potentially vulnerable freshman tooth and nail. Scott may find that a statewide race is actually less of an uphill climb. We'll hopefully have a better sense of that when the polling kos commissioned in the state is done.