All eyes are on Nebraska where state Sen. Deb Fischer could upset her rivals state Treasurer Don Stenberg and state Attorney General Jon Bruning for the GOP nomination in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson this evening.
A Public Policy Polling survey found Fischer leading with 37 percent compared with 33 percent for Bruning and 17 percent for Stenberg.
The race has divided Tea Party leaders nationwide, with Sarah Palin backing Fischer on one side and with Sen. Jim DeMint and his Senate Conservatives Fund, Sen. Rand Paul and FreedomWorks firmly behind Stenberg.
Stenberg has received $938,637 in funding from DeMint’s group.
Bruning has enjoyed the support of establishment Republicans and also enjoys the backing of Tea Party Express. He has outraised his rivals to the tune of $2.9 million.
Fischer, a rancher by profession, has drawn a contrast with her rivals by arguing that she would be a strong challenger to the Democrats’ likely nominee, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who last appeared on the ballot in 1994.
She has benefitted from last-minute advertising from a Super-PAC financed by Ameritrade founder, Joe Ricketts, whose family also owns the Chicago Cubs.
No woman has represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate since the 1950s, and Fischer would be the first to be elected in her own right should she win the primary and go on to prevail in November.