February 8, 2016

Could the Fischer-Kerrey US Senate race be tightening? (AUDIO)

Recent public opinion polls indicate the race of United States Senate between Republican Deb Fischer and Democrat Bob Kerrey has tightened.

The Kerrey campaign late last week claimed its internal public opinion polling indicated the gap between Kerrey and Fischer has narrowed. The poll conducted by Hickman Analytics had Fischer at 50% and Kerrey at 45%, a far cry from the double-digit lead most polls gave Fischer early in the race. A new poll from Pharos Research Group claims the race has tightened even further; a 48-46 Fischer advantage.

The Fischer campaign has said its internal polling shows a much wider split, but the campaign has not released any of its data.

There seems to be little independent confirmation of the poll numbers released by the Kerrey camp. The Washington Post ranks the Nebraska United States Senate race as the most likely to flip parties. Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, holds the seat now, but is retiring. Kerrey has been seen as the best candidate to retain the seat for Democrats, but the Post considers the race already decided. The New York Times rates Nebraska, along with North Dakota and Arizona, as leaning Republican. RealClearPolitics, citing earlier polls, ranks Nebraska as likely Republican.

Kerrey says with a tighter race, he now must convince voters he would be a better choice than Fischer.

“I’ve got to continue doing what I’ve done right from the beginning which is tell Nebraskans what I would do if I got elected,” Kerrey says. “Why can you trust me to be bi-partisan, why can you trust me to be a part of an effort to balance the budget.”

Republicans have been reading polls, too.

Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, agrees the race has tightened, but does he have any concerns about it?

“No, I don’t,” Heineman tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Deb Fischer is going to win this race, because she’s been positive. She’s right on the issues. She’s campaigning hard. She’s in touch with Nebraskans and they understand that.”

The poll that counts is taken on November 6th.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]

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