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Recently I wrote a diary that questioned whether or not former Governor and Senator Bob Kerrey (D) was surging in the latest polls.  Both Kerrey's internal polling and new polling outfit, Pharos Research, showed the race tightening after Kerrey trailing for a long time now in the polls ranging from 16 to 20 points.  Latest research shows Kerrey trailing Tea Party candidate, Deb Fischer (R) from 2 to 5 points and TPM had Fischer beating Kerrey by over 3 points.  Well the Omaha based newspaper, the World-Herald, recently conducted their own poll and found Kerrey trailing Fischer by 3 points:

Kerrey trailed Fischer by only 3 percentage points in a statewide survey of 800 registered voters.

He has closed the gap considerably from five weeks ago, when he was behind by 10 points among registered voters in a World-Herald Poll.

The poll was conducted Oct. 23-25 by Wiese Research Associates of Omaha. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. - The World-Herald, 10/28/12

In a very Republican state, how has Kerrey managed to gain traction this late in the race?  The World-Herald goes on to explain:
The latest poll comes as Kerrey has aggressively tried to undercut Fischer's lead by questioning her character in a series of television ads in which he and campaign surrogates criticized Fischer for suing her elderly ranch neighbors over a property dispute in 1995.

The negative onslaught has clearly worked, especially among independent voters. - World-Herald, 10/28/12

Here's the attack ad Kerrey has been using against Fischer:

Pretty harsh stuff but it's working.  TPM now has Kerrey trailing Fischer by 2.8 points:  

In The World-Herald Poll, Kerrey's numbers have risen in all three of the state's congressional districts and among men and women.

But his biggest gain was with voters who identify themselves as independents. In September, Kerrey held only a 6 percentage point lead among independent voters. As of last week, Kerrey held a 24-point lead among independents.

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Fischer continues to dominate western Nebraska, where she enjoys the support of 57 percent of registered voters in the 3rd Congressional District. Her support there dropped only slightly from September, when she had 60 percent among registered voters.

Kerrey also has managed to narrow the gender gap, although Fischer still remains strongest with male voters. In September, Fischer had a 20 percentage point lead among men. That has now dropped to 14 points. - World-Herald, 10/28/12

A lot of people have written off this race but there still might be a chance for Kerrey to be the 58th seat we could pick up in the Senate.  If you want, help Kerrey keep this ad going, throw some money towards his campaign:

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's going to win the NE Senate seat (9+ / 0-)

    Good that you have heralded the world with this news,
    which is consistent with the recent Pharos poll showing the strong and ongoing trend toward Kerrey.

    He's just a much, much more qualified and trustworthy candidate than his opponent Fischer, who is part of the evil/twisted Akin-Mourdock crowd.

  •  A Kerrey win would also help turn NE-02 blue. (12+ / 0-)

    Obama would get the EV he got in 2008, and John Ewing would mean another vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

    58 Democratic Senate seats would mean that keeping the majority in 2014 would be easier(we may even be able to get back the House if we can't this year).

    Kerrey wouldn't likely be much different than Ben Nelson but he would vote for Harry Reid and would vote with Obama on some of the important stuff (I think he'd vote for any Obama Supreme Court nominee).

  •  I disagree with a lot of Kerrey's positions (7+ / 0-)

    But at the end of the day, he is a vote against DOMA, a vote against the Ryan budget, a vote against killing the ACA, and a vote against undoing Dodd-Frank.

    I believe he may end up a lot like Joe Manchin, where he will be conservative on one or two issues (in this case Social Security and taxes) but vote with the majority on many other key issues, and possibly even more progressive than the majority on some.

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:28:18 PM PDT

  •  Boy, he closed that gap fast (8+ / 0-)

    Still a big underdog, but he is making it a hell of a fight.

  •  He said to Chris Matthews (11+ / 0-)

    when the host told him that the anti-Fischer ad centered on the land-title thing seemed awfully small potatoes picky, "To out-of-staters, yes, but it's a story that resonates in Nebraska."

  •  I was wondering when someone would (6+ / 0-)

    diary that poll.  This seat looked like a lock for Fischer just a few weeks ago.  It seems like it took people awhile to remember Bob Kerrey but once they did they found him to be a credible alternative.  

    Hopefully his momentum can carry him to victory next Tuesday.  

  •  It would be nice to add this to the narrative (4+ / 0-)

    The Senate races having exactly gone as pundits were predicting Summer 2011, or even a couple of months ago. They now seem incapable of admitting that they were too quick to write-off the Dems this cycle.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:47:01 PM PDT

    •  part of narrative: rightwing teabag self destructo (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, science nerd, ardyess

      and additionally, very good Democratic candidates in almost every State

      it will be the narrative as soon as the election is over, but for now, the gregorys and the todds and many others will prefer not to mention any of this - keep it suspenseful, ya' know...

    •  It wasn't just the pundits (0+ / 0-)

      ...who wrote Kerrey off.  I have seen several front page posts right here on Daily Kos that assumed that Kerrey didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell.  If Kerrey pulls this off, it will be all the more remarkable considering how little support he has gotten from the Democratic Party and progressive organizations on a national level.

      An excerpt from my comment on the diarist's previous post on Kerrey's Surge:

      I'm glad to see some signs of hope for Kerrey's campaign.  Those who think his campaign was doomed from the outset might consider that at the start of Martha Coakley's Senate campaign, her poll numbers were just as strong as Fischer's, and we all saw how well that worked out for Coakley.  If Kerrey tightens the race enough to have a respectably close finish without actually winning, we'll all have to wonder what might have been if his candidacy hadn't been written off so early.

      I'm very glad to see more signs that my cautious prediction that Kerrey might come close, but not close enough, may very well have been wrong.

  •  Kerrey needs to distance himself from his opponent (0+ / 0-)

    He's pretty conservative on the issues.  He's not offering voters a real choice when it appears they're looking for one.

    Ugh, Boll Weevil Democrats  like Kerrey just don't get it.

    "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:10:26 PM PDT

    •  on abortion (8+ / 0-)

      and women's rights, Kerrey is good; pro-choice. Deb Fischer holds exactly the same views as Akin, Mourdock, et al. They are on opposite ends of the pole.

      I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

      by sillia on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:15:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are other important issues (0+ / 0-)

        Voters are concerned about more than abortion rights. They're worried about jobs, the economy, Social Security, health care costs, etc.

        Kerrey needs to appeal to those voters as well.

        "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

        by Betty Pinson on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:25:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nebraska has a very low unemployment rate (0+ / 0-)

          mostly because we are agricultural and folks gotta eat. But we need some fresh ideas, someone who has lived outside the bubble here. We need to move into the 21st century, stop with the same old same old. I am hoping Kerrey will fight to keep the Pipeline out of Nebraska and I hope he promotes wind energy among other things.

    •  Bob Kerrey isn't necessarily a partisan (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, PorridgeGun, Empower Ink, jtb583

      He's actually willing to be bipartisan whereas Deborah Fischer is more of a Tea Party hyperpartisan.

      I think that's all that needs to be explained.

    •  Ever live (4+ / 0-)

      and vote and campaign in a 70% red state?

      You do what you can do to keep pushing it back to the left.

      Your comments are highly alienating to liberal progressives such as myself working hard for national elections and local elections.

      We "get it".
      Do you?

      What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes... Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life

      by Nebraska68847Dem on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:51:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        any hint of being a dreaded "liberal" in Nebraska is a death sentance. I drove through rural Nebraska three weeks ago on Hwy 2 and saw big billboards saying "stop Obama socialism" and the like. I took a picture of the big one in Broken Bow.

        That's why I'm so surprised that Kerry is doing so well. I figured they would have painted him as a NY liberal by now. After seeing the new polls one remembers that he won statewide election for the Senate and Governorship so he knows the state very well.

        You guys must be doing a hellofa job. Best wishes on election day.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:59:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I have (0+ / 0-)

        and talking about issues that are important to working class Americans isn't a radical idea.

        Some issues cross political boundaries - protecting Social Security, affordable health care for all, etc. Those are not radical, left-wing ideas.

        Kerrey's campaign needs to give it a try.

        "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 05:55:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can learn (0+ / 0-)

          What state, what year, and who was the left sided candidate running you supported?

          I'll have to go back and do some research.

          What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes... Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life

          by Nebraska68847Dem on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 10:37:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A current example (0+ / 0-)

            is the campaign of Senator Sherrod Brown in Ohio.  He runs very strongly on jobs protection and protecting SS & Medicare.  

            He's polling stronger than Obama in this "red" state, has been throughout the election season.  He's also been campaigning against Citizens United and the need to get money out of politics.

            Those issues resonate with all voters, across party lines.


            I really hope Kerrey wins, but he has to get over the idea  that he should run a GOP-lite campaign.

            "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

            by Betty Pinson on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:47:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what (0+ / 0-)

              red (70% republican) state did you live in... what year, and who was the candidate (far left leaning)?

              What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes... Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life

              by Nebraska68847Dem on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 03:00:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Do Nebraskans really want that choice? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nebraska68847Dem, cacamp

      In most states, I would agree with you. But we are talking about one of the reddest states in the country, and I doubt they really want someone all that far to Fischer's left. A little bit, sure; but Kerrey does offer that choice.

      Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

      by RamblinDave on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:02:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are two big misconceptions, 1 that it rains (0+ / 0-)

        24/7 in Seattle and Nebraska is one of the reddest states in the country. I live in the blue dot that went for Obama in 2008, it will this year too. Deb Fischer is a Grover Norquist Tea Bagger, she has all kinds of issues with her character. You just don't try to grab 100+ acres of land from an elderly, kind and well loved couple and not have it come back to bite you. She talks all the time about her Nebraska values when in fact her values are vices. About the worst thing they have said about Bob Kerrey is he had a sleep over with Linda Ronstadt at the governors mansion. Most people have no problem figuring out which was most egregious "sin".

        •  I hope you're right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cherie clark

          But is it really that big an exaggeration to say Nebraska isn't very red? Omaha isn't, but that's not the whole state. Remember, NE-03 voted for Goldwater in 1964 (although NE didn't have the current law allocating EVs then). Point being, if someone more palatable to most Kossacks ran for Senate there, I doubt s/he would be very competitive even against a jerk like Deb Fischer.

          And wasn't it Debra Winger that Kerrey had sleepovers with when he was governor?

          Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

          by RamblinDave on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 01:19:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are right it was Debra Winger I shouldn't be (0+ / 0-)

            allowed t post while asleep, LOL. CD1 is also becoming more and more blue. The number of Republican voters is just about equal to the number of Dems and non partisan combined. CD3 is heavily Republican, but it is also made up of Deb Fischer's neighbors. She may carry CD3 but I am beginning to doubt it. Her land grab doesn't sit well with other ranchers. Open grazing has rules to protect everyone and Fischer not only broke the rules she completely ignored them. Her land grab gambit cost her elderly neighbors 40K to defend their ownership in court. The first assault on Fischer was as a "welfare rancher". She grazes on BLM land @ 1/3 of what it would cost her to graze on private land. While it is hypocritical of her to want to cut social programs and never consider revamping BLM lease policies, there is nothing wrong with it and thousands of ranchers all over western states graze on BLM land. This suit against the Kimes has really gotten traction. People are shocked by it as they should be and now we find out she also abused her legislative power regarding the proposed sale of all the Kime property for a state park. Nebraska does have values and Fischer's values don't sit well anywhere in the state.

            As for Kossacks approving of Kerrey, not Kos business. We Dems in Nebraska are thrilled Kerrey is running and running strong. Our job was to find a Dem for Ben Nelson's seat who could win, not someone a blog approved of. We have two outstanding viable candidates in Kerrey and Ewing who will help move the country forward and support the President's agenda.

            I will have a diary this Friday on most recent polling this week. We have for the first time in a long time have very few Republicans running unopposed for ANY office in the state. We have reason to believe we are not only returning our Dems to the Unicam but will be adding more progressive legislators to the body. One more thing that sets us apart from a lot of other red states is Nebraska hasn't been taken over by the Tea Party. While Fischer is part of the Tea Party she won her primary because her challengers literally killed each other off. I am sure the Republican party was thrilled because with Fischer they have some pretty deep pockets in Rickets and the Kochs to help finance her run. But this doesn't mean Nebraska as a whole supports the Tea Party agenda. Remember we are an agricultural state and thanks to the Tea Party, the Farm Bill has yet to pass.  We are currently operating under the 1949 law and farmers in Nebraska and all over the country are going to feel that come spring.

  •  Ne Sen (0+ / 0-)

    Kerrey wins this one easily

  •  Nebraska men support (0+ / 0-)

    a teabagging fake over a war hero?

    Not very manly if you ask me.

    CNN has called it: Luke Skywalker vs. the Death Star is a tie!

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:01:27 PM PDT

  •  As a former Nebraskan, I didn't see this coming. (0+ / 0-)

    I was back in the state visiting my family when Nelson provided the needed vote to move the ACA, and I won't forget the vitriol spewed on his from all sides. His approval rating plummeted vastly, like I had never seen. I thought for sure Nebraskans would bring their ire to bear on this rate and elect the teabag nutcase, but this is encouraging.

    I remember seeing Bob Kerrey show up randomly at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln for a Magic Slim concert back in the date. I spoke with him, and he seemed like a decent guy, though his records is terribly mixed across the board. Guess that's how it is if you are a Democrat trying to get elected in Nebraska. I do think he a little bit better than Nelson if he can pull if off.

    "Microscopes are prudent in an emergency." -- Emily Dickinson

    by godotnut on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:23:07 PM PDT

  •  Ben Nelson seemed just fine (0+ / 0-)

    joining in opposition filibusters, something I don't see Bob Kerrey doing.

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