Deb Fischer, unknown, wins in Nebraska

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Yet another unknown candidate won a Senate nomination last night, and beat the establishment to do it:: State Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska. Even more amazingly, until recently no one in Nebraska (outside of her district) knew her name, and she spent the least amount of money to win.

Deb Fischer wins

Three candidates stood for nomination in the Republican Primary in Nebraska:

  • State Senator Deb Fischer,
  • State Attorney General Jon Bruning, and
  • State Treasurer Don Stenberg.

The State Republican Party backed Bruning. So did the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) endorsed Stenberg, and had help from the Club for Growth. Deb Fischer had no chance to win, or even to place, according to everyone who was watching that race. But former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska endorsed Fischer late in the race.

Deb Fischer, Republican Candidate for Senate from Nebraska

Deb Fischer. Photo:

Anyone who thought that Sarah Palin could only give the kiss of death to a candidate by endorsing him or her, learned differently last night. (See these reports from ABC News, The New York Times, Fox News Channel, The Washington Post, GlobalPost, and WakeUpAmerica.)

The Post gave the stunning numbers of the money that the three candidates spent:

  • Jon Bruning: $1.3 million
  • Don Stenberg: $1.2 million
  • Deb Fischer: $300,000

That $300,000 included $100,000 in ads that her campaign bought, and a $200,000 campaign by Joe Ricketts’ Chicago “SuperPAC.” It amounted to ten percent of the money that all three candidates spent in this primary. published three reports, all showing that Deb Fischer now has the support of those who had backed her rivals. Sarah Palin said it best: Deb Fischer is not part of any “good old boy network.”

The message from the people of Nebraska is simple and powerful: America is looking for real change in Washington, and commonsense conservatives like Deb Fischer represent that change.

Palin should know. She beat a good-old-boy network to become Governor of Alaska, and clashed with more “good old boys” to win more royalties for Alaskan oil.

Now that Fischer will be the Republican candidate for Senate, most poll watchers expect her to become the next US Senator from Nebraska. Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-controlled company, warned in March that former Senator Bob Kerrey, now trying to return to the Senate, would lose badly to any of the three candidates.

Lessons for the voters

The Post astutely pointed out the obvious: political money could not buy this nomination. Money alone can never buy off voters who have roused themselves and refuse to re-elect “good old boys” or to promote them merely because “it’s their turn.” Now it’s the people’s turn. Last night in Nebraska, they took it.

Fischer is the second Republican unknown, or near-unknown, to beat a “good old boy” candidate. The first was Richard Mourdock in Indiana.

Many other primaries will take place between now and the summer. They include the New Jersey primary. There, a northern New Jersey businessman named Bader G. Qarmout hopes to upset State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth County) the same way that Fischer and Mourdock did in their States. The Qarmout campaign commented dryly to CNAV that the timing couldn’t be better.