In a way, you have to admire Politico for its dedication to dopey storylines that are thin on evidence but dutifully crafted to boost liberal Democrats. Take this Thursday afternoon post by David Rogers entitled "Can Kerrey Republicans lift him to a win?", playing off the term "Reagan Democrats" and referring to GOP voters in Nebraska who could return Bob Kerrey (D) -- lifetime ACU conservative score of just 8 out of a possible 100 -- to the Senate after a 12-year hiatus in the private sector, nine of which were filled as the president of The New School in New York City.
But in his 14-paragraph story, reporter David Rogers failed to find document any regular Joe Republicans in Nebraska who planned on voting for Kerrey who could explain their rationale, nor did he point to any polling data showing a significant defection of conservative Republicans to the Kerrey column. Instead, Rogers cited some moderate-to-liberal ex-Republican senators who have had kind words for Kerrey, while also touting as potentially decisive former senator Chuck Hagel's decision to officially endorse the Democrat:
You’ve heard of Reagan Democrats. But what about Bob Kerrey Republicans? And are there enough to push the maverick Democrat over the finish line in a GOP-dominated Nebraska?
That’s the question raised by what’s become the moderates’ mutiny: old guard Senate Republicans throwing their weight behind the 69-year-old Vietnam veteran, whose comeback campaign for Senate has made him a target for the new money brokers of the GOP.
Hagel’s own Vietnam infantry record and years in the Senate with Kerrey fostered a genuine friendship. But Fischer has also been a Hagel supporter in the past, and he has provided some counsel to the state senator as she tries to learn the ropes on foreign policy issues.
He ducked POLITICO inquiries Wednesday morning and again after the Omaha World Herald broke the news of his endorsement in the evening. But Kerrey confirmed the endorsement was coming, and a press conference was scheduled Thursday afternoon in Omaha.
“I am not sure what changed things,” Kerrey told POLITICO. “He and I spoke and then he decided…This is a special and moving moment for me. To have someone I admire so much risk so much to do what he believes is right is a memorable act regardless of who wins next Tuesday.”
According to Real Clear Politics, the latest poll of the Senate race by the Omaha World-Record shows Fischer with a three-point edge. Though a significantly smaller lead than the World-Record's previous poll in September, the RCP "race analysis" concludes that "The safe bet is that Nebraska will get its first all-Republican Senate delegation since the 1970s."