This Tuesday, it looks like the Republican Party is looking to get back their “groove” at the Republican Senate primary race in Nebraska, where leading conservative groups and figures are gathering. The election is being watched closely, especially since the Tea Party movement has struggled to execute the electoral coups that ousted GOP incumbents tagged as “too moderate” in 2010 and 2012. In North Carolina last week, the Tea Party-backed candidate lost to state House Speaker Thom Tillis in the Senate GOP primary. However, Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse, president of Midland University, seems to have a lead in the polls. He’s facing off against former state treasurer Shane Osborn, as well as Omaha businessman Sid Dinsdale. Sasse’s campaign image is that of an anti-regulation, anti-ObamaCare, pro-gun rights “maverick”.
Sasse is backed by the Club for Growth, Tea Party Patriots and other conservative organizations, including Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, all of whom have joined him on the campaign trail. Osborn, on the other hand, has been fighting back against Sasse’s platform, which he labels as “I’m-more-conservative-than-thou”, accusing his rival of supporting the 2010 federal health care law. Sasse’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act has been a major centerpiece of his campaign. However, he has advised former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt’s firm as the group reached out to businesses and organizations in 2010 to help implement the new law.
While Osborn’s campaign has been more focused on attacking Sasse, Sasse has been working to put out “positive” messages instead, which seems to have been paying off; a recent poll shows him holding a 14-point lead in the ace. It will be interesting to see how this pans out for Sasse, and if his work will pay off.