Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Latest Views on Gov's race and 3rd Dist.

Another viewpoint on the Gov’s race, as well as the 3rd Dist race from Evans and Novak. Here’s the link, (Evans-Novak Political Report) and it’s reprinted below, as it’s unclear how long these stay up on the site. Now the real question is, who is giving these two Washington wonks their Nebraska political poop?

Governor 2006:
Nebraska: Betting against Rep. Tom Osborne (R) in Nebraska is akin to betting against Saint Patrick in Ireland. Yet even the latter had his setbacks, and we expect one for Osborne on May 9 primary day that will likely end his political career.

There is a significant amount of resentment over the former football coach's decision to run for governor against a popular incumbent from his own party. There are no major issues in the race that particularly recommend a change of horses, beyond Osborne's wild popularity throughout the state thanks to his years of coaching the Cornhuskers.

Osborne's run therefore smacks of vanity. Many believe that it results mainly from his own well-known weariness with being a congressman. Moreover, many Nebraskans feel Osborne is too old for the job. If victorious, he would turn 70 within a month of taking the oath of office. On the other hand, the primary in his district to replace him will drive up turnout in his part of the state, which could help him.

Gov. Dave Heineman (R), who replaced Gov. Mike Johanns (R) after he was named secretary of Agriculture, has pleased all the right people and has received positive press lately. He and Osborne are in a dead heat as the election approaches, which is already a bad sign for Nebraska's most revered resident. It's not likely that Osborne will suddenly enjoy a late surge, given that everyone knows who he is and likes him already. The only way for Osborne to win is for Heineman to make a tremendous gaffe.

The most recent published survey, which puts Heineman one point down, is of "registered" and not "likely" Republican voters -- which misrepresents the electorate in a way that likely overstates Osborne's support.

Compound this with the fact that the quixotic third candidate, Dave Nabity (R) may break into double digits. Nabity was recently endorsed by a farmers' group (a harmless endorsement for them, since he has no chance of winning) that is spending money to put him on the air. Their actual goal is to use the Nabity campaign as a front to push a local water issue. Leaning Heineman.

House 2006: Nebraska-3:
State Sen. Adrian Smith must be considered the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination to succeed Rep. Tom Osborne (R) in the Western half of Nebraska district. He faces Osborne aide John Hanson and Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek. The latter supposedly has money to put into his campaign, but has been loath so far to use it. Smith has raised the most money, and he is by far the most active of the three top candidates right now. The primary is May 9. Leaning Smith.

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