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Stenberg supporters make big media buy; Fischer campaign releases poll

By   /   May 3, 2012  /   7 Comments

With the primary election a dozen days away, the Senate Conservatives Fund has made a big media buy on behalf of State Treasurer Don Stenberg, the group’s chosen candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Yesterday the political action committee founded by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint began airing a TV ad promoting Stenberg. The ad denigrates politicians who will “say anything to get elected” and calls Stenberg fearless and dependable with the “character and integrity” to defeat Democrat Bob Kerrey in the fall.

A spokesman for the Senate Conservatives Fund, Matt Hoskins, said the Nebraska race is tightening.

“This race is quickly trending in Don Stenberg’s favor as voters learn more about Jon Bruning’s record. In just a few weeks, Bruning’s lead has been cut from 30 points down to single digits. This race is far from over and the grassroots aren’t giving up. They know Don Stenberg is the strongest conservative in the race and has the character and integrity to defeat Bob Kerrey.”

According to the FEC, the Senate Conservatives Fund made a $250,000 TV buy promoting Stenberg.

During the debate among the top three Republican candidates on Tuesday, frontrunner Jon Bruning took a swipe at DeMint’s support for Stenberg, saying South Carolina already has two senators and doesn’t need a third.

This TV buy brings the Senate Conservatives Fund’s total spending on the Nebraska race to $1.4 million, including a recent $20,000 expenditure for “survey calls.”

That would be a different survey from the one done last week by state Sen. Deb Fischer’s campaign. That survey of 500 likely Republican primary voters on April 23-24 found the race has tightened to 9 points, with Bruning leading with 30 percent, Stenberg with 21 percent and Fischer 19 percent, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

That’s a big drop in polling for Bruning, who was leading by 30 points in several polls in March. And despite heavy spending by Bruning and outside groups on Stenberg’s behalf, the poll found 28 percent of voters still undecided.

The poll also found Bruning’s unfavorable ratings have increased greatly, to nearly 27 percent, since the Club for Growth unleashed a barrage of negative ads against him in April.

The Fischer survey was done via “live interviews” by The Singularis Group of Shawnee Mission, Kan. In its campaign memo, the consultant notes that over 52 percent of likely primary voters are in the Lincoln media market.

Meanwhile, former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum endorsed Bruning today. And the Bruning campaign announced his campaign raised $176,000 between April 1-25. Senate candidates are required to file their pre-primary reports with the FEC today.

Bruning’s report will show he has raised $3.52 million so far this election cycle and enters the final three weeks of the primary campaign with more than $1 million in cash on hand.

“I’m incredibly grateful to receive strong support for my candidacy,” Bruning said in a press release. “In addition to their generous financial support, Nebraskans are giving their time – making calls daily and walking precincts on my behalf. I look forward to continuing this momentum through the primary and into the general election this fall.”

Reported by Deena Winter, deena@nebraskawatchdog.org.

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Deena Winter has been a journalist for over 20 years, writing stories for the Northwood Gleaner, Bismarck Tribune, Associated Press, Denver Post and Lincoln Journal Star before joining Watchdog.

  • Monica Hall

    I pray the voters of Nebraska wake up to the true character of Mr. Bruning. Our family has gotten zero help from the Attorney General for the past 4 years regarding the homicide of my 2 year old twin niece in Gering Nebraska. He cowtows to the Scotts Bluff county DA Mr. Doug Warner, who was one of his former assistant attorney general’s who continues to be in charge of Juliette Geurts homicide case. The AG continues to ignore our pleas for the AG’s office to take over the investigation. But it is no wonder when Mr. Warner has donated money to Mr. Brunings senate campaign. There is way too much of the good ole boys club going on in Nebraska. Where politics and personal gain takes priority over doing what is right and the jobs these men were elected and hired to do.

    Murdered Nebraska Children Should matter to every citizen in the State of Nebraska because one day you may find yourself sitting here in our shoes with murderers still running free while an innocent child is buried 6 feet under because of the unwillingness of men in positions of power to do their jobs. If Nebraska looks good and hard at the men running for Senate it won’t take long to see that the AG is the worst possible choice they could make. THINK OF YOUR CHILDREN, ALL OF NEBRASKA CHILDREN AND WHO WILL BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED HELP TO PROTECT THEM? July 11th will be 4 years and we are still waiting for arrests of the 3 adults living in the home at the time of Juliette’s homicide. My niece died from multiple blunt force trauma to the abdomen and head. Mr. Bruning where is “Justice for Juliette”? You have become a multimillionaire while Nebraska AG and now your too busy running for Senate to care about a murdered little Nebraska child. God have mercy on us all if we stand by and say nothing.

    Monica Hall

    Juliette’s aunt may she R.I.P.

  • Clive

    First the poll is anonymous and now we find out it is the Fischer campaign from TWO WEEKS AGO! Gimme a break.. Thanks for the time machine ride back to April. There is no way this is poll is valid.

  • Political Scientist

    This looks like the same poll that Stenberg took back in Feb and almost the same numbers. We know that poll was way off. And Deena, the poll was taken almost two weeks ago on a Friday and Saturday. Not the best time to take a poll.

  • Deena Winter

    If you read the story, it says the poll was taken April 23-24, eight days ago, on a Monday and Tuesday.

  • Political Scientist

    Deena, I read your story, just glanced at March instead of April.

  • watchdogfan

    Monica, doesn’t surprise me in the least. Have experienced Bruning’s good ole boy club myself. I truly feel though that everything is going to be revealed about him. Keep up the fight. I think there will be a few good ole boys going down. I would stay clear of Bruning if I were in his club. Peace

  • Clive

    Leavenworth St. has a great analysis on this. Looks like the Fischer folks are over sampling the Lincoln TV market which is the only place she is running ads.

    http://leavenworthst.com/