I was just reading a story over at Kos about Nebraska and it really pissed me off. This from the story at Kos.
The Omaha World Herald is now reporting that Democrat Scott Kleeb, a rancher with a PhD from Yale on International Relations, has taken the lead in the COH race against his Republican opponent, State Sen. Adrian Smith in the open seat contest in NE-03. Taken the lead by a lot, actually. According to the article, Smith currently has a warchest of $105,000, while Kleeb has nearly three time as much in the bank: $277,000. And this is in the sixth most Republican district in the entire country.
The sixth most Republican district in the country, in fricking Nebraska, and the Democrats have a candidate that is raising more money and giving the Republicans a run for their money. But, it isn't just this one district. In 2004 they only had one opponent for the three seats, this year they have opponents for all the seats.
This year they have candidates for all three seats: cattle rancher Scott Kleeb, attorney Jim Esch and former lieutenant governor Maxine Moul. All three are "a cut or two above" the usual in quality, says state politics expert Robert Sittig, a retired University of Nebraska professor.
If we had a great set of candidates we could make the 50-state strategy sing, again from kos.
This is what the DNC 50-state-strategy is all about. Dean's DNC is spending $120K/year for three organizers in the state, money that Schumer and Rahm would prefer be spent on bullshit television ads by ineffective beltway consultant firms.
That $120K and the renewed energy by the NE Democratic Party has forced the GOP to pay attention to an area of the country and district that Republicans had previously taken for granted. If Cheney does a fundraiser for Smith, it's a fundraiser he can't do for another Republican candidate. It's money from GOP donors that can't go to other races. Other endangered Republicans get less attention, and endangered Democrats get a pass.
And given the state of the money race in this district, Republicans may be forced to expend even more resources ensuring their hold on a seat that really, by all rights, shouldn't even remotely be on anyone's radar.
Alright, I'm off to the jazz brunch.