Nebraska Senate Race Hits the National Radarby Kyle Michaelis
8. Nebraska: Can anyone claim to know what's going on in the mind of Sen. Chuck Hagel (R)? The Fix expects him to announce his retirement from the Senate some time this fall, but Hagel has proved us wrong before. If Hagel retires, Democrats are expected to make a major push for his seat. The likely candidate is Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey, although former Sen. Bob Kerrey has also expressed some interest and might well have the right of first refusal. Republicans would quickly move to recruit Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, a former Nebraska governor, but it's not clear that Attorney General Jon Bruning, who is already in the race, would back out. The eventual Republican nominee should be helped by the state's strong GOP bent.
That certainly reads like Nebraska's chances of being a Democratic pick-up in the U.S. Senate are being taken very seriously - perhaps more than I'd previously entertained as possible.
No doubt, that's an exciting prospect. Sure, there's a long ways to go and plenty of variables that have yet to play out before any true judgment can be made, but it's nice to know that they're thinking of us and that Nebraska isn't being written off just because we've picked up a couple of nasty voting habits somewhere along the way.